Four Girls in Asgardstrand 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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Four Girls in Asgardstrand is an oil on canvas painting done by Edvard Munch in 1903. Like in many of his works, Munch focused on the mental world of children in an elaborate and expressionism way.

The artwork resides at the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. In this painting, Munch showcases children from the coastal village of Asgardstrand, well dressed and facing against the yellow wall of what is believed to be his small house. The Four Girls in Asgardstrand are brought out with a child-like trust as seen in their expression, also indicating the intention of decoration by the painter. At the time, Asgardstrand was part of the new municipality of Borre, a summer resort destination that was home to many galleries, cafes and a beach. It is for this reason that Munch is believed to have modernised the portrait, a hint that the kids were randomly picked, belonging to visitors on a hiking trail or a short stay in Asgardstrand.

Other Works

The Child and Death is another painting by Munch, focused around children. This artwork was completed in 1899. A small girl is seen looking at the viewer, closing her ears with her hands, and in the background is her dead mother. The theme of this painting is grief, symbolising Munch's inability to deal with death but the psychological condition that comes with it. Anxiety, completed in 1894 is among his other great works. In this painting, there are many elements linked to his earlier work, The Scream. Here, you will also notice a single alienated personage, a lake in the distance and a less dimply-brushed shore. While The Scream shows a single traumatised figure, there is collective despair in this piece. This painting is a reflection of Munch's mental state as a result of the death of both his mother and sister.

Separation is an 1896 oil on canvas painting showcasing a blond girl on the beach, a lustful woman in red, light on the sea and an unhappy man. This is a portrait symbolising varying human relations. The sorrowful man is believed to have lost his love. He is seen to attempt to move forward but in front of him is a crimson plant blocking his path. While he might want to face the future, he is still stack in the present. It is said to symbolise Munch's state of mind at the time, where his emotions are still stuck with the grief of losing his mother and sister.

Portrait of Children Erdmute and Hans-Herbert esche is a portrait of expressionism completed in 1905. It depicts a boy and girl, who appear to be siblings. The older boy is seen holding the young girl in a protective way, looking away from the viewer. The white dress worn by the girl is a symbol of innocence, while the black attire worn by the boy symbolises grief. Munch is said to have painted the portrait to symbolise his life after the death of his mother and elder sister, where he had to take up the duty of looking after his younger sister.