Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863-1944)
woodcut hand colored with watercolor, Image: 37.70 x 45.00 cm (14 13/16 x 17 11/16 inches). Gift of Mrs. Clive Runnels in memory of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1959.82
Evening, Melancholy I depicts the jilted, tormented art critic Jappe Nilssen, Munch's friend, on theshore of Åsgårdstrand, a fishing village south of Oslo. Munch chose heavily grained blocks of wood, allowing the pattern of the board to add texture to the scene, and he exploited the handmade aspect of the technique by carving blocks crudely. He also experimented so that each impression is unique.
Evening, Melancholy I is one of only two known impressions printed from the first state of the block
before it was cut into two sections. Printed in black ink, Munch used watercolor and gouache to color
the sheet extensively. An example of how method can reinforce meaning, the simplified shapes, flattened space, and dark hues create a visual correspondence to the figure's deep depression.