Eye in Eye Edvard Munch Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Eye in Eye is an eery painting by Edvard Munch were the composition is reduced to the fewest number of objects possible.

Edvard Munch was a highly skilled Expressionist artist who created atmospheric settings in his work. His colour schemes were crucial to this, as were the way in which he captured human emotions. All are aware of classic works such as Anxiety, Vampire and The Scream, but Eye in Eye is also a highly significant piece from his extensive career.

The scene that we find here captures a small house in the background behind a tree that dominates the centre of the canvas. In front is a couple whose appearance is somewhat haunting. The dominance of the tree immediately makes us assume that his holds a symbolic value rather than just providing additional interest as would be the case in a normal landscape painting. Trees have held symbolic value in many different religions, see Gustav Klimt's Tree of Life, for example.

Eye on Eye is dated at 1899–1900 and is now owned by the Munch Museum, Oslo. The two figures stare directly at each other in which would normally be a truly romantic scene, but there appearance brings a different vibe to the scene. Some have argued that the tree is placed between the lovers and the house as if to represent a barrier to their happiness. They both lacks mouths in this painting, too, so communication is purely by eye.