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EDVARD MUNCH (1863-1944)

 
EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in. EDVARD MUNCH - Seated Young Woman - oil on canvas - 54 x 43 1/4 in.
Seated Young Woman191654 x 43 1/4 in.(137.16 x 109.86 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Städtische Galerie, Frankfurt (acquired in 1927; deaccessioned as 'degenerate art' in 1937, inventory no. 15771)
Harald Holst Halvorsen, Oslo (acquired from the German State in 1939)
Sale by Harald Holst Halvorsen at the gallery, Wangs Kunsthandels lokale, Oslo, Edv. Munch malerier og grafiske arbeider fra tyske museer, lot 33, January 16-23, 1939
Thomas Olsen, Oslo (acquired from the above sale) By descent to Petter Olsen Collection Faurschou Foundation (acquired from the above in 2007)
Literature
Jensen, Jens Christian ed. Edvard Munch...More.... Gemälde und Zeichnungen aus einer norwegischen Privatsammlung (exhibition catalogue). Kiel: Kunsthalle zu Kiel, 1979, no. 19, illustrated in colour on 50
Bischoff, Ulrich. “Die Rolle Edvard Munchs beim Einzug der Moderne in die deutschen Museen - Anmerkungen zu acht Bildern aus einer norwegischen Privatsammlung.” Pantheon, 1985, mentioned on 126 f
Gallwitz, Klaus, ed. ReVision - Die Moderne im Städel 1906-1937, Stuttgart 1991-92 (catalogue). Stuttgart: Gerd Hatje Verlag, illustrated on 106. Munch und Deutschland (exhibition catalogue). Munich: Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, 1994, mentioned on 113
Woll, Gerd et al. Edvard Munch. Complete Paintings. Catalogue Raisonne. Volume 3. 1909-1920. London: Thames and Hudson, 2009, fig. 1204, illustrated in colour on 1121 (original Norwegian edition published in Oslo: Cappelen Damm, 2008.)
 
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History

The severe alcoholism, depression and ensuing emotional breakdown Edvard Munch suffered in Copenhagen in 1908 led to an ever more reclusive life, first in the Norwegian coastal town of Kragerø, and later, at Ekely, the fifty-acre estate he purchased in 1916 on the outskirts of Oslo. He often painted the well-established garden, the surrounding elm forest, the nearby farms and their draft horses whose powerful, labored movements he captured in vigorously brushed strong-hued contrasts of color. Painting outdoors proved therapeutic and lifted his spirits, yet at his core, Munch is a portrait and figurative painter whose intentions are clear: plumb the human condition in all its emotional intensity, unmask its vulnerabilities and powerfully express them.

Ekely, isolated as it was, allowed the neurotic Munch to carefully control social interactions. Female models known to him through friends and acquaintances often came to be participants in his social life — among them, Frøydis Mjølstad, the young sixteen-year-old that came to his Swiss-style villa in 1916 and quietly sat as Munch painted her in one of the newly appointed rooms. With its bright palette, brilliant contrasts, and energetically brushed room of aura-like partitions, Seated Young Woman unapologetically illustrates Munch’s credo that ‘color should be applied emotionally, not realistically.’ It retains much of the same visceral intensity as earlier portraits that had such a profound effect on some of the major figures of twentieth century art including Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, Pechstein and Jawlensky when Munch exhibited on several occasions in Germany between 1905 and 1908.  Daringly removed from realistic representation, it is a work intent upon a more expressive approach to painting. — an avant-garde, psychological study fused with his simmering, emotionally charged temperament.  

More
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    Edvard Munch, “The Scream” (1893), National Gallery and Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway
  • Munch32812_History2
    Edvard Munch, unknown date
  • Munch32812_History3
    Edvard Munch, “Self Portrait with the Spanish Flu” 1919, the Metropolitan Museum
  • Munch32812_History4
    The sitter of this painting, Frøydis Mjølstad circa 1925
  • Munch32812_History5
    “Model with Hat and Cloak” 1916-17 (Frøydis Mjølstad, model)
  • Munch32812_History6
    Edvard Munch with brush and palette touching up his canvases at Ekely
“Through my art I have tried to explain my life and its meaning. I have also intended to help others to clarify their lives.” -Edvard Munch

PRESTIGIOUS EXHIBITION HISTORY

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The prestigious exhibition history of Seated Young Woman includes major art institutions in Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Oslo, Zurich, São Paulo, and many others. Shortly after Munch completed this piece in 1917, it was featured in an exhibition at Blomqvist Kunsthandel in Kristiania (now Oslo), the leading Norwegian auction house which was among the earliest art dealers in Scandinavia. This photo shows Seated Young Woman on display at Blomqvist among a group of several Munch paintings in 1918.

Top Results at Auction

“The Scream” (1895), pastel on board, 31.1 x 23.2 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: May 2, 2012, for $119,922,496 USD
“The Scream” (1895), pastel on board, 31.1 x 23.2 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: May 2, 2012, for $119,922,496 USD
“Pikene på broen (The Girls on the Bridge)” (1902), oil on canvas, 39.8 x 40.4 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: November 14, 2016, for $54,487,500 USD
“Pikene på broen (The Girls on the Bridge)” (1902), oil on canvas, 39.8 x 40.4 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: November 14, 2016, for $54,487,500 USD
“Vampire” (1894), oil on canvas, 39.4 x 43.3 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: November 3, 2008, for $38,162,500 USD
“Vampire” (1894), oil on canvas, 39.4 x 43.3 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s New York: November 3, 2008, for $38,162,500 USD
“Summer Day” or “Embrace at the Beach (The Linde Frieze)” (1904), oil on canvas, 35.6 x 76.7 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s London: March 25, 2021, for $22,340,514 USD
“Summer Day” or “Embrace at the Beach (The Linde Frieze)” (1904), oil on canvas, 35.6 x 76.7 inches. Sold at Sotheby’s London: March 25, 2021, for $22,340,514 USD

Paintings in Museum Collections

“Weeping Nude” (1913-1914), oil on canvas, 43 ½ x 53 1/8 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
“Weeping Nude” (1913-1914), oil on canvas, 43 ½ x 53 1/8 inches. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
“Model in Wicker Chair” (1924-1925), oil on canvas. Same model, Frøydis Mjølstad. The Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway
“Model in Wicker Chair” (1924-1925), oil on canvas. Same model, Frøydis Mjølstad. The Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway
“Melancholy” (1911), oil on canvas. Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway
“Melancholy” (1911), oil on canvas. Stenersen Museum, Oslo, Norway
“The Sick Child” (1907), oil on canvas, 46 ¾ x 47 ½ inches. The Tate, London
“The Sick Child” (1907), oil on canvas, 46 ¾ x 47 ½ inches. The Tate, London
“My breakthrough came very late in life, really only starting when I was 50…I had the strength for new deeds and ideas.” -Edvard Munch

Image Gallery

Additional Resources

Watch a short video on The Scream, presented by Thierry Ford, Conservator at the National Museum, Oslo
Learn more about this expressive artist in “Edvard Munch and the Cycle of Life,” the 2020 exhibition at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia
Explore Munch’s prolific career in Smithsonian Magazine’s 2006 article, “Edvard Munch: Beyond The Scream”

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