The Artist and his Model Edvard Munch Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

The Artist and his Model by Edvard Munch was painted in oil on canvas between 1919 to 1921 and is one of his later works. Munch as an artist was synonymous with Symbolism and Expressionism, and this painting captures much of the emotional chaos and underlying anxiety that Munch's works are renowned for.

The Artist and his Model by Edvard Munch depicts himself and an unnamed model in his apartment, which is painted in vibrant colours with loose and broad brushstrokes, the whole work brighter and less fraught with angst than some of his more famous works. Munch often made women the central figures of his paintings, and here his female model once again takes centre stage, with Munch himself hovering behind her. She faces front and draws the viewer's attention into the painting, whilst Munch is clearly in second step behind her. Munch had often experienced hallucinations, and The Artist and his Model does conjure up the feeling of a dream world merging with reality in the painting, the walls and doorways seeming to be malleable and closing in somewhat.

However, there is also a greater sense of calm than some of his other works, although the underlying emotional chaos of the messy apartment and the faceless figures still ties this painting very strongly to the genre of Expressionism. By the 1920's, Munch had endured a lifetime of mental health and anxiety issues that were further exacerbated by his heavy drinking and the breakdown of his personal relationships. However, a stay in hospital during the late 1910's saw Munch's personality stabilise somewhat, and on the advice of doctors he cut down on drinking and socialising, and instead focused solely on his work. Munch began to paint for patrons and just close friends as a result, which is reflected in the more simplified subject matter of The Artist and his Model.

However, the morbid is never far from Munch's work, and despite the colourful and inoffensive background of the apartment room, the two figures of Munch and his model are eerily expressionless, their features a blur of paint brushstrokes that merge into one another. The model wears a bright blue jacket and colourful dress, whilst Munch looks sombre and hovers like a spectre on her shoulder dressed all in black. The Artist and his Model by Edvard Munch is currently on display in Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain.