Dance on the Beach 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

Dancing has often been used by artists as a means to demonstrating certain emotions within their work. Joy and also a feeling of community and inclusion have been found within these paintings. In the example of Dance on the Beach, this is actually more a personal moment between two figures, whilst others look on in a much more reserved manner.

This is a particularly positive and charming artwork from an artist who concentrated so often on the negative emotions within his own mind. We find a couple of female friends dancing on a beach, as the sun sets in the far distance. A large tree in the nearest foreground covers much of the scene, also providing a vertical structure to the composition. An extra tree is also on the left, essentially framing most of the remaining content between them. There are waves coming in from the sea which laps close to the figures in the centre of the painting, but there is a calmness here within the atmosphere. There other figures besides those dancing are dressed all in black, with no real features whatsoever and perhaps an intention from the artist that they be present but also entirely secondary within the hierarchial structure of the painting.

Munch would use the setting sun within his paintings many times, and would plan his day around this event in order to make sure that he was working right at this point. Examples of other paintings which feature something similar would be Summer Night by the Beach and Moonlight. One suspects that he found solace in the waves, allowing the sounds to take over his mind and distract him from the inner turmoil which had been dominating his life since childhood. He would sometimes produce seascapes with no sign of any evidence of humanity, whilst other upbeat works would have them within fun social settings such as Dance on the Beach. As a proud Norwegian, the natural surroundings in which he lived would always be a major consideration, with outdoor life being important to this nation's society, particularly through the months of light and sunshine.

This particular painting is now owned by the National Gallery in Prague. It is rare for any artwork from Munch to be found within this country, making it a bonus for his supporters within the Czech Republic. They have a great array of related artists within their international collection, including the likes of Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Renoir, Schiele, Miró and Klimt. In terms of specific artworks, some of the highlights of their collection within this approximate time period of the mid to late 19th century, you will also find The Maiden by Gustav Klimt, The Slav Epic by Alphonse Mucha and a Self Portrait by Henri Rousseau. Aside from that, for those with broader artistic tastes, there are also several old masters featured as well within an overall collection that runs into the many thousands of individual items.