The Voice / Summer Night 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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The Norwegian summer light fascinated Edvard Munch. He believed that light evokes anxiety and tranquillity, which are the same two feelings that Munch wanted to capture in his work.

Munch preferred working between 9pm and 11pm to perfectly capture the unique atmosphere's details amid the summer nights. In his journal, Munch stated that most seaside rocks reminded him of sea spirits and goblins, especially in the night's light. Unfortunately, Munch has a unique poetic approach that his home critics could not understand. Therefore, they read and translated his work quite literally, like they were never poetic. In 1890, the reception of Munch's work was cruel and hostile, and many critics referred to his work as gibberish. They criticized the stones, stating that they were made from soft, thrown substance, but that never stopped him.

In one of his paintings, The Voice Summer Night, Munch depicted a woman he painted from memory. This served as a memoir of the very first night the two spent together. She was Munch’s first love, and her name is Millie Thaulow. They met and fell in love a year before the painting. Compared to Munch, the woman was older and was married to a military captain. There were two versions of the painting. The first one was painted in 1893 and was black. Thus, it is accurate to interpret the female's figure as a symbol of the voice. The work that was done later is part of the Frieze of Life.

Munch had a younger sister called Inger, and she often modelled for her brother’s paintings. If you look at the works that involved Inger, you will see that they resemble the Voice / Summer Night. He knew how to balance colors to share the deepest of his feelings with the audience. Though he was not lucky enough to get married to the love of his life, Thaulow, he remained compassionate and continued his work without distractions. Munch lived in a small house that he rented in Asgardstrand, a small village near Oslo that he regularly visited since 1888. The Voice / Summer Night is an outstanding creation from Edvard Munch. It is not a very big one, but the details are perfectly captured in the drawing. During his prime, Munch created lots of paintings, and most of them are available in museums to date. Today, you can see Voice / Summer Night in Munch Museum, Oslo.