Edvard Munch, ‘Young Couple in a Spruce Forest’, 1915, Christie's


A very good impression of this extremely rare print, with margins, probably the full sheet, a deckle edge at right, a couple of small paper losses and short tears at the sheet edges, pale staining along the sheet edges, generally in good condition.
Block 320 x 605 mm., Sheet 420 x 630 mm.

From the Catalogue:
The catalogue raisonné by Gerd Woll records only two other impressions of this state; both of which are in the Munchmuseet, Oslo.

The rare and unusual woodcut Young Couple in a Spruce Forest (Woll 540) seems to form a pair with Munch's better known print Towards the Forest II (W. 541), executed roughly at the same time in 1915. In fact, the two prints could be seen as a sequence, whereby the young couple is first seen approaching the forest, before finally stepping into the dark woods for a secret embrace.

The image of Young Couple in a Spruce Forest is made-up of short, narrow lines gouged out of a dark surface, which itself is printed over a multicoloured, striped surface. The effect is that of cold, glittering northern moonlight falling through a dense canopy of needles into the forest and onto the figures. Munch further heightened the sense of almost being in the forest by using very fibrous, natural paper and by printing the dark surface from a single, heavily grained plank of spruce wood.
—Courtesy of Christie's

Schiefler 442; Woll 540

About Edvard Munch

A recognized forerunner of Expressionism, Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Munch is renowned for his representations of emotion. Associated with the international development of Symbolism, Munch experimented with many different themes, palettes, and styles of drawing. Though stylistically influenced by Paul Gauguin and the Nabis, Munch’s subjects are drawn from his Scandinavian roots and his own tortured psyche. His most famous painting, The Scream (1893), illustrates a tormented cry translated into waves of color that resonate across the landscape. Though based on Munch’s own experience, The Scream has become an instantly recognizable symbol of anxiety and alienation. Often reworking his paintings into etchings and lithographs, Munch was also one of the major graphic artists of the 20th century—he took an experimental approach to printmaking and contributed to the revival of the woodcut.

Norwegian, 1863-1944, Løten, Norway, based in Oslo, Norway