Prints and Multiples

Prints and Multiples

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 115. EDVARD MUNCH | MYSTICAL SHORE (W. 117; S. 125).

Property from an Important Private European Collection


Auction Closed

September 17, 04:10 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private European Collection


1863 - 1944

MYSTICAL SHORE (W. 117; S. 125)

A rare proof impression of this scarce woodcut printed from two blocks in grey and brownish grey, the moon hand-coloured, 1897, this impression cited in Woll, variation III of V, on tissue thin Japan paper, mounted showing the inscription ‘Bitte drucken/Grundton hell blau/Die Hauptplatte schwarz’ in pencil verso, framed

image: 370 by 565mm 14½ by 22¼in

sheet: 467 by 655mm 18⅜ by 25¾in

Acquired directly from the artist by his fourth cousin; thence by descent to the present owner

Richard Field, writing in the catalogue of the landmark exhibition The Artistic Revival of the Woodcut in France, 1850 -1900 (University of Michigan, 1984), draws particular attention to this very rare woodcut by Munch. This work “signals the crisis of the woodcut at the end of the century”. It was at this point that both Munch and Gauguin, apparently totally independently of each other, abandoned the pictorial aspects of the woodcut as practised by Vallotton and others. They not only abandoned the complexities of colour printing, they used the natural characteristics and sculptural qualities of the single block, in particular the use of the grain of the wood. When the painting of this subject was exhibited in Paris in 1896, Strindberg was captivated by the moon, writing in La Revue Blanche “Like the dot of an i, the moon rises to suggest an infinite sadness and desolation”.

Jonathan Pascoe Pratt PhD.