Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Evening Talk, 1889

Edvard Munch, Evening Talk, 1889.

Munch’s lifelong obsession with loneliness and psychologically twisted love relationship began with this large picture. This was the first time that he truly played out the theme that more than anything else infused his depictions of human beings “breathing and feeling, suffering and loving,” to use the artist’s own words.

A tale of absence and loneliness
In the summer of 1889 Munch settled at Åsgårdstrand, a fishing village on the west side of the Oslo Fjord already famous for its community of Kristiania bohemians. Here he staged his tale of absence and loneliness with the theatre critic Sigurd Bødtker (1866-1928) and his younger sister, Inger, as models.

A disillusioned woman
Exact likenesses are not, however, important here, and Munch made Inger older than her 21 years. She appears as a disillusioned woman – a silent monolith whose reserved and dour body language supplies an icy contrast to the posing aesthete.

Munch's break with naturalism
The painting is an early example of Munch’s break with naturalism. In several places the paint has been applied with brisk, transparent brushstrokes that set the colour free from the objects they are used to depict, giving them independent painterly value. This is supplemented by the artist’s bold move of employing a pronounced vertical division of the picture plane. The contrast between the open, sunlit landscape and the dark veranda is used in a Symbolist way to communicate the dense atmosphere.

Close-up or another view

Here you can zoom-in on the work for a close-up view of all of the details. - Or you can gain a new understanding about the work by watching films where researchers, conservators and artists talk about the work from their viewpoint.

Zoom and see the details

More views of the work – see the films

Edvard Munch - in the conservator's view

Conservator Troels Filtenborg

Camera and editing Martin Pedersen
Producer Mathilde Schytz Marvit

Edvard Munch- in the artist's view

Producer Mathilde Schytz Marvit
Artist Hannah Heilmann
Camera and editing Martin Pedersen

Updated: 26.apr.2018
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