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Self portrait. Night wanderer

Painting, 1924, 90×68 cm

Description of the artwork «Self portrait. Night wanderer»

First self portraitEdvard Munch wrote when he was 19 years old.Last - shortly before his death, when he was 81 years old. In total, among the artist's works there are 70 pictorial self-portraits and more than a hundred - in watercolors, drawings, sketches and engravings. To compare the scale, it is enough to remember that the most consistent and persistent self-portraitRembrandt created about 90 own images in different techniques, self-portraitsFrieda Kahlo (life itself has studied itself) - more than 50. Dürer, Van dyke, Cezanne, van Gogh,Picasso created a lot of self-portraits, but none of them - as much as Munch. Every year, sometimes for weeks and months in a row, Munch wrote himself - he examined and studied the new man who replaced the old man.

Self-portrait in 1924 "Night wanderer" - one of the most terrible. No self portrait after spanishnor evenself portrait in hell Do not make such an alarming impression. The two most eloquent elements of any portrait that the viewer is used to finding out about the person depicted are eyes and hands. Both of these elements are missing on Munch’s self-portrait. The illumination in the night room lies in such a way that instead of the person’s eyes in the portrait there are deaf dark dips. He hid his hands in his pockets or behind his back. To peer into this portrait is the same as entering a room where dark spots instead of windows and the floor level are not visible, it is not even visible whether there is a floor.

There is no time or place. Any more or less certain reference point would reduce anxiety: after the Spaniard, with brushes, with a bottle of wine, with a cigarette, against the background of the house, in the hospital, in Bergen, between the clock and the bedYes, even in hell. So, as in this self-portrait, they look in the mirror when they accidentally walk past him in a dark room - and they don’t recognize the reflection.

Munch has either a dressing gown or a warm coat. He either came, or is going to leave. He is either at home or in an unfamiliar place. In any case, this room is not a safe place. Too tight or too empty. Munch does not recognize himself and leaves no chance to learn something to the viewer. He is between the worlds, between the stages of life.

Munch wrote this self-portrait in his own villa, which he bought in 1916, 10 years before. He was treated for a nervous breakdown in a psychiatric clinic, survived the Spaniard (the Spanish flu epidemic claimed the lives of millions of people around the world), and now he is raising vegetables and fruits on the land adjacent to his house. Munk left to work only 6 years old: in 1930 there will be a hemorrhage in his right eye - and in the remaining 14 years of his life he will write very little. Almost one self-portraits. Explaining somehow the focus on his own experiences and his own personality, Munch wrote that only at first glance this may seem selfish. In fact, he believes that careful fixation of his mental states and spiritual experiences may help someone in the search for truth. Anyone who wants to go through the artist's personal hell, Edward Munch, in which mirrors show unfamiliar reflections with empty eye sockets, the room’s walls pinch a man into a ring, and a long Norwegian winter night outside the window that does not promise the day sun and will soon be replaced by the next long winter night .

Author: Anna Sidelnikova
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About the artwork

Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Portrait

Style of art: Expressionism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1924

Size: 90×68 cm

Artwork in selections: 29 selections

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