Self-Portrait on the Glass Veranda

By Lin Stafne / February, 18, 2012 / 0 comments

Edvard Munch, "Self-portrait on the glass veranda"Selvportrait on the glass veranda, 1930-33

Through his life, Edvard Munch painted several self portraits. Currently, Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt is exhibiting Edvard Munch’s  “Self-Portrait on the Glass Veranda”, 1930-33 (MM M 446). At the same time, the Munch Museum in Oslo shows two similar paintings made during the same period of Munch’s life at Ekely, nearby Oslo, MM M 242 and MM M 245. The latter is concieved in a combination of oil and crayon on wooden panel. If we compare the versions shown here, the differences are visually obvious.

In the catalogue to the winter exhibition “Sense of snow”, Curator Petra Pettersen describes the works (MM M 242 and MM M 245) in the following lines: “Two self-portraits of the aging artist on the glass veranda are executed as though Munch is taking pictures of himself from different distances.” (p.51) Again, an example of Munch’s modern eye?

Further, and much of this could describe all three versions: “The cold winter maintains an intense presence behind the veranda window. Munch uses the same cool palette for his body as he does for the frozen landscape. The face itself, with the ends of his mouth turning downward, are painted in orange with red details. The red paint accentuates his ears strongly in both pictures. In these two portraits, with their immediacy, the artist reveals his irritated and dejected state of mind.”