Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 18631944)
Lithograph printed in yellow, red, and green; 27 3/8 x 15 3/4 in. (69.5 x 40 cm)
Gift of Philip and Lynn Strauss, 1984 (1984.1167)
Long thought to be an image of Munch's ex-fiancée, Tulla Larsen, the emerald-eyed temptress in this startling lithograph has been identified as a professional model who posed regularly for the artist in his studio. Like many of Munch's images of women, she follows the popular fin-de-siècle trope of the femme fatale with her long tresses, blank stare, and full breasts enticing the male gaze.
An undisputed master of the print medium, Munch made no fewer than 800 prints during his prolific career. His subjects were limited, however, to a smaller number of powerful images that he continually reworked in etching, lithography, and woodcut. His keen interest in technical experimentation, coupled with his use of simplified forms and expressionistic color, have positioned him as an important progenitor of modernism.