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About Edvard Munch’s sketchbooks

180 sketchbooks – a seismographic record of Munch’s thoughts and ideas.

This is probably not how it happened.

One day in the early spring of 1892, Christian Skredsvig and Edvard Munch are on their way into Nice from the casino in Monte Carlo. They are in high spirits, because they have made a profit today. They head for one of the better bars to celebrate Fortuna’s favours. Their merry, rather loud behaviour attracts a certain amount of attention from the other guests. Skredsvig, who has more money and a better knowledge of French, gradually becomes the centre of a lively group, while Munch smiles and nods, without really being able to follow the conversation. But a young woman turns away a little from the others and raises her glass to Munch: “À votre santé!” “À la vôtre!” replies Edvard. He has at least learnt that much. “Vous êtes artiste aussi? Et de Norvège?” she asks in French, with a smile. “Artiste” and “Norvège” are fine too. Edvard smiles with relief and answers “Oui”. He does not quite grasp her next question. He thinks of the intention he had a few years ago to learn twenty French words by heart every day and regrets the fact that he did not pursue it. Then he has an idea; he takes out the sketchbook he always carries in his pocket, opens it and pushes it towards her. She smiles at a drawing of the restaurant of the Théâtre Français dated 12 February and laughs heartily at a few carnival caricatures. Edvard is pleased with himself; it was a cunning idea to let the sketchbook do the talking instead of making stilted conversation in French, a language he finds all too difficult. But then she pushes the sketchbook back, smiles at him and asks him something or other. He hears the word “dessiner”, so something to do with drawing.

“She’s asking if you can draw her.” It is Christian coming to his rescue. “And of course you can. You won’t get a prettier model for less than fifteen francs!” “Why not”, thinks Edvard, “after all, I’m better at drawing than making conversation.” He takes the pencil out of the holder on the sketchbook and finds a page with a little free space next to one of the sketches for Moonlight. She is serious now, looking back at him with a vague hint of a Mona Lisa smile. He draws her quickly with soft pencil strokes, emphasising her eyes and her loose hair. Finally he adds a little shading and turns the sketchbook round towards her. She leans forward to look. “C’est très bien!” she exclaims and with a smile she shows it to the others. Edvard is relieved. She likes it!


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00129-47-recto

But then he hesitates a little. He can do a quick sketch in thirty seconds. But Christian is right; she is pretty – she deserves something better. He looks at her, takes the sketchbook back, smiles and says “Encore!” He leafs back and forth a bit, finds a blank page and draws. He begins with the nose but is not satisfied, turns the book through ninety degrees and begins again. He goes to a lot of trouble. It is a fine drawing; he captures her expression on paper and the almost imperceptible smile. She has been patient for a long time now and when he lets the pencil rest for a moment, she smiles and asks, “Fini?” He shrugs his shoulders and she leans over the table and grasps the sketchbook. She looks at it for several seconds. Edvard grows a little uneasy. Then a beaming smile breaks out on her face and she says, “Merveilleux! Vous êtes très, très doué! Comment vous appelez-vous?” “Je m’appelle Munch. Edvard Munch.”


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00129-31-verso

As mentioned before, that was probably not exactly how it happened – certainly not. But there is something special about sketchbooks. We get close to the artist in a direct way. Many sketches invite us to fantasise about the situation in which they were drawn. While paintings and graphic works are generally “studio products”, sketchbooks are, so to speak, specially designed to accompany the artist everywhere on his travels. They offer the artist a convenient format and a generous number of sheets that do not flap about. They are witnesses to meetings with people, they record events, they show us what made an impression on the artist, what caught his or her attention. If, like Munch, the artist has left a large number of sketchbooks, we are in fact dealing with an alternative autobiography, though of course it is disconnected, incomplete, and extremely subjective – like all autobiographies.

Sometimes we can understand exactly what happened and when and where, as in the aforementioned named and dated sketch of the restaurant in Nice. At other times, we must give freer rein to our imagination, but the drawings preceding and following a sketch can occasionally give us an indication of time and place.1 The portrait of the young woman mentioned above is in a sketchbook, in which most of the drawings – possibly all of them – were made during Munch’s stay in Nice in 1891–2.2 The drawing immediately before it is a preparatory study for the painting Woman Combing her Hair of 1892 (Woll M 269), while the following sheet has two sketches on it, which are apparently drafts of illustrations to Vilhelm Krag’s collection of poems, which Munch was working on in Nice but did not manage to deliver in time.3 However, “our” portrait is on the back of the previous drawing and upside down, which suggests that the three drawings are not necessarily located in strict chronological order, but that “he leafs back and forth, finds a blank page and draws”. In addition, we know that Munch and Skredsvig were together in Nice from December 1891 to the end of March 1892. For parts of this period Munch lived with Skredsvig. It is well known that they repeatedly visited the casino in Monte Carlo and on some evenings they even made a profit. Not so unlikely, then, that they went out on the town together to celebrate. Christian had several long stays in Paris behind him, spoke French much better than Edvard and must often have stepped in as a language consultant. Indeed, in a diary Munch wrote on 8 December 1880: “To find an easy way of getting to grips with the French language I have decided to learn twenty French words by heart.”4 We must assume that this was intended to be a daily exercise.

And then there is something about the way in which this portrait is drawn. It differs from the usual robust, swift, often somewhat caricatural drawings we so often see in the sketchbooks, including this one. The realistic, slightly idealised depiction, the soft shading that emphasises the femininity of her face, gives us a distinct feeling that she made an impression on him, or that he tried to make an impression on her – or both.

So in this way we can continue putting the individual pieces together to form a picture, in which imagination must nevertheless fill in the largest gaps. Munch’s 150 or so sketchbooks are brilliant at firing the imagination of those who have the chance to leaf through them.

I deliberately wrote 150 or so sketchbooks because, where Munch is concerned, the boundary between text and drawing is fluid. Most of the sketchbooks have additions of text, anything from brief notations of names, addresses, and other “memos” to longer, more ambitious writings about art, life, and personal troubles – or about his childhood (see MM.T.02761-02-recto below).


The Munch Museum, MM.T.02761-02-recto

As exemplified by MM.T.02761-02-recto, there are many notebooks in which the text is obviously the main feature but is mixed with one or more drawings. The Munch Museum collection has a total of around 200 books – with and without text – containing almost 4,500 drawings. Of course, this kind of symbiosis between text and drawing is not something unique to Munch. It is actually the rule rather than the exception. Nevertheless, it is a very important aspect of Munch’s artistic activity. It seems as if he was seeking the company of writers rather than painters. Hans Jæger and August Strindberg are obvious examples, but in his circle of acquaintances in Kristiania5 and Berlin we find authors and writers such as Herman Colditz, Richard Dehmel, Adolf Paul, and Holger Drachmann.6 Christian Krohg wrote, and so did Max Linde,7 so why not Munch? In this kind of environment he was certainly both encouraged and inspired to write. And he did write. Though the volume of his publications is slim, his unpublished production is correspondingly greater.8

1001, 1002, 1003…

Nearly 4,500 drawings in sketchbooks and notebooks. How do we count the drawings in a sketchbook? In fact it is not as easy as you might think. Often there is indeed one drawing on one page; then it is easy enough. But quite often there are several drawings per page. So are they separate drawings to be counted individually or are they connected, forming one large drawing? We can say that the first is true in MM.T.00129-32, whereas MM.T.00129-06-recto is an example in which the connection between the drawings is so strong that it might be natural to count them as one, under the umbrella description “gallery of types”. However, there is no set answer in this area. In a way the simplest thing is to count the number of pages with drawings on them. In that case, the museum’s collection contains 3,883 such pages.9


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00129-32


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00129-06-recto

There can be further complications with counting. What is a drawing? Or to be a little more specific: Where does the boundary lie between a drawing and a squiggle? Between a drawing and a pattern? A diagram? Is this a drawing?


The Munch Museum, MM.T.02611-14-verso

Well, at any rate it was a drawing – a full-length figure of a lady in a bonnet. A drawing that Munch was clearly very dissatisfied with and crossed out heavily. He would certainly have opposed the idea that it should ever be published, but now it is.

Anyway, the number of pages and drawings is probably most interesting for specialists. Let us instead look more closely at the complex material that makes up the almost 4,500 drawings on over 3,800 pages in the 200 or so sketchbooks and notebooks. First and foremost the sketchbooks are characterised by the artist’s incredible versatility and the abundance and variety of their contents. They are absolutely teeming with extremely diverse motifs. We have realistic reportage, malicious caricatures, drunken men and fat ladies, sensitive portraits, nudes, and thoroughly prepared studies for almost all of Munch’s well-known motifs. The execution spans the gamut from the extremely quick and simple (see MM.T.00128-20) to the detailed and thorough (see MM.T.00121-22-recto below). In terms of technique, we find a whole range of tools: Pencils (thick and sharp, soft and hard), coloured pencils, and crayons in all the colours of the rainbow, pens dipped in tusche or ink, charcoal, chalk, pastel, watercolour, and gouache.


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00121-22-recto

This variety makes the sketchbooks a “seismograph” for Munch’s thoughts and ideas and his relationship to the visual and imaginary world surrounding him throughout his long life. But variety does not have to mean chaos. It can be structured to some extent according to the various areas of use covered by the sketchbooks.

The sketchbook as travelling companion

This is the classic sketchbook, the one that is kept easily accessible in the artist’s pocket and taken out when something needs to be documented, catches his attention, or when a sudden visual idea needs to be noted for future use. It is usually in a small or medium format, it may be simple and cheap or carefully-made and quite expensive. Young Edvard’s very first paid artistic commission – a painting of the living room of two relatives (The Living-Room of the Misses Munch in Pilestredet 61, 1881, Woll M 16) – earned him a sketchbook, which he was certainly very proud of owning and displaying (see MM.T.02611 below). It opened almost like a jewel box, with an embroidered silk lining and a leather cover on which his name was embossed. However, all this exclusiveness seems to have caused a kind of stage fright: It contains several blank pages and most of its drawings were probably done later.


The Munch Museum, MM.T.02611

However, the fear had already been overcome in the next sketchbook (MM T 121) – which must also have been rather expensive with its leather binding and metal clasps. In this one Munch drew during his travels, including the long summer trip to the Hedmark area in 1882, where we can follow him on the journey from the town Hamar to his birthplace of Løten.10 An interesting artistic change also takes place in this sketchbook. On the first part of the journey he mainly draws towns and buildings: ancient ruins, Hamar cathedral, landscapes, and townscapes. He is a tourist documenting well-known landmarks, certainly with the idea of showing them to family and friends when he comes home. But as the journey continues, these motifs gradually disappear and depictions of people take over – portraits as such or depictions of people in their own environment. And so it was to continue. After 1882 we hardly find a single “postcard drawing” in the sketchbooks. He shows little interest in documenting where he has been; it is what he has experienced that is significant, and in this case people almost always play the major role, even if it is only a man on a park bench.

In Kristiania his sketchbook accompanied him to cafés, cabarets, backyards, and along Karl Johan Street, where people promenaded (see MM.T.00125-04).

Journeys between Norway and the continent were made by boat. When his destination was Paris, the first stage was on the steamship Alpha, which transported Munch and many of his artist colleagues safely from Kristiania to Antwerp in the autumn – and back again at the approach of summer. In fine weather he could sit on deck and enjoy the view, dream about his great breakthrough, or capture his fellow passengers on a page of his sketchbook with a few quick strokes of his pencil (see MM.T.00125-33-recto below).


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00125-33-recto

While he was staying in Paris and Nice in 1889–92 he also enthusiastically recorded what he observed – little scenes of people in everyday situations, at the billiard table, in the park, or at simple eateries.

After Munch moved to Berlin in 1892 and began his restless travels around Central Europe, the typical travel pictures grew fewer. In one of the sketchbooks (MM T 131) we do still find a great variety of drawings from a journey he made in Norway, in the area around Vågå in the summer of 1895. Here there are sketch maps, flowers and trees, cabins and pigs – and a portrait of Peter Munch Tronhus, his father’s cousin, who was said to have once been the model for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt.

Nevertheless, the drawings from a journey Munch made in 1909 from Bergen to Kragerø are possibly more interesting. He travelled by boat, horse, and carriage and part of the way on the recently opened Bergen railway, and his travelling companion was his cousin Ludvig Ravensberg, who kept a detailed diary of the tour.11 Among other things, he writes about the drive by horse and carriage between Eide and Voss on Thursday, 1 July:

We had a wonderful drive. M was in good spirits the whole time and made a lot of brilliant remarks. He wanted to show me a number of things and demonstrated them with drawings, all of which were excellent, because, said M, this is how art was originally … created.

After the previously mentioned trip to Hedmark in 1882 there is hardly a single church to be found in Munch’s sketchbooks, but on this tour in 1909 the pair must have visited several, to judge by all the drawings of churches in this sketchbook. Both the exteriors and interiors caught his attention; we find general views as well as studies of details such as roofs and doorways (see MM.T.00147-01 below).


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00147-01

It is difficult to say anything about the reason for this sudden interest in churches. Ravensberg does not mention it specifically in his diary. However, architecture was clearly a topic of conversation: “However, when, after a … successful drive, during which Munch also set out his views on architecture, we finally arrived at Vossevangen, where the Hardanger girls in their national costumes are loitering on the hotel veranda, trying to give the impression they are part of the scenery …”. Perhaps Munch also had an idea that it might prove useful later. And maybe it did: In the woodcuts The Pretenders: The Ordeal by Fire I and II, dating from 1917 and 1930, respectively, there is a Gothic doorway that might well have been based on the sketches from that tour.


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00147-15

All the same, perhaps the most interesting things in this sketchbook are a number of watercolour landscapes depicting waterfalls, high mountains (see MM.T.00147-01 above and IE2-12 [private photo]), and rapids along their route. Watercolour is not a particularly handy medium when you are on the move; you need a paint box, brushes, mixing bowls, and water, and somewhere to put them. Of course Munch may have applied the colour later in his hotel room, or after he was back in Kragerø, for that matter. But if so, this kind of addition to sketches is also quite unusual. On two of the pencil sketches from this tour he has noted indications of colour for possible working-up later. Perhaps he used watercolour to reproduce the colours more precisely than “light green” and “deep blue”? Whatever the case may be, none of these sketches appear later as paintings,12 and the watercolours remain between the canvas covers as well-kept secrets.

MM T 147 is rather large – 23.6 x 31 cm (almost A4 format) – for a travel sketchbook, but there are examples of even larger sketchbooks that Munch carried about with him, though not necessarily when travelling. MM T 200 measures as much as 41 x 26.8 cm, and he took it with him to the circus, probably to a performance by the Circus Hagenbeck.13 The large format seems to have freed up his style. His hand has swept across the paper in firm, easy movements and with a sure touch, producing striking images of the animals and the world of the circus (see MM.T.00200-08 below).


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00200-08

Studio sketchbooks

Not all of the sketchbooks are used for journeys. There is also a need for quick sketches and notes when the artist is working in the studio or in his immediate surroundings. In this case it is usually more important to have plenty of space to draw than a handy pocket format. More than a third of the sketchbooks left by Munch are large-format – around A4 size and upwards. Many of them are linked by motif to his various places of work, especially after his return to Norway in 1909 – most of all Ekely, but also Hvitsten and Kragerø. These include a large number of drawings connected with the University Aula decorations – Alma Mater for Hvitsten, The Sun, and History for Kragerø. The preparatory work for the city hall decorations – a commission he never received – occupies a similar position for Ekely a few years later.

The motifs to be found in the greatest numbers in Munch’s “studio sketchbooks”, however, are the many hundreds of portraits and nudes that can be considered as “croquis”.14 Many of these are actually on loose sheets, but often they have clearly been torn or cut out of sketchbooks. Similarly there are many large-format sketchbooks with perforations from which one or more sheets are missing.

But if drawing nudes is mainly a part of basic art training – as we see with Munch from the drawing school in Kristiania and Bonnat in Paris – why did he work so intensively on this after settling at Ekely as an established artist? The answer may be as simple as the fact that he could only now afford to pay models, but a more significant and equally simple answer is that this activity was important to him as an artist. Singers and dancers never stop doing basic exercises, irrespective of how accomplished they become, and in the same way, an artist who does not want to stiffen up needs to keep his hand supple and his eye sharp – perhaps especially as age gradually takes its toll.

As a child Picasso painted like an established artist. As an old, established artist he practised the childlike. The fact that Munch managed to go on expressing himself in a similarly direct and playful way right up to his death is due in no small part to daily exercise in his sketchbooks.

The sketchbook as idea bank


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00126-10-verso

Among Munch’s depictions of the daily life of the various places where he lived, we find drawings of a completely different type – sketches of ideas for motifs and compositions. Many, but not all, are further elaborated and the end product is often in a different medium, mostly painting but also print. Nevertheless, the starting point may well have been a specific observation. Probably the best-known example of this is the quick, unpretentious sketch From the Ljabru Chaussee (see MM.T.00126-10-verso above), which is further developed, for example, in the aforementioned sketchbook from Nice (see MM.T.00129-38 below) and ends up as one of the greatest icons in the history of art – The Scream (see MM.M.00122b).


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00129-38

In this case it might also be interesting to take a step further back and look at a sketchbook drawing dated 13 December 1885 (see MM.T.02717-recto). No blood-red sky, no blue-black fjord – no scream resounding through nature. But we recognise the compositional framework: A single person in the foreground and a diagonal crossing the picture that draws you in until it is blocked by a person in the background. Chance? Well, maybe. But maybe not – this is how a sketchbook of ideas works. It stores visual information that will prove useful later on in a conscious or unconscious recycling of certain elements.

The sketchbook as a tool for developing ideas gradually became more important for Munch towards the end of the 1880s and on into the next decade. In these books he perfects the composition, twisting and turning the elements in order to arrive at the most concentrated and intense effect possible. We can see a development similar to that of The Scream in key motifs of the Frieze of Life, such as Kiss and Jealousy (see MM.T.00129-47-recto below). The sketch for the latter depicts a specific situation, in which a man is almost spying on the woman he desires. Later Munch reassembled it into a powerful psychological expression, in which the jealous man is looking not at the object of his jealousy but directly at us.


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00129-47-recto

There are by no means fixed boundaries between “travel sketchbooks”, “studio sketchbooks” and “idea sketchbooks”. As previously mentioned, we occasionally find sketches that were executed on the spot with indications of colour added. These are very clear links in the chain of development in the idea for a picture. But even without this kind of “evidence” it is likely that in many cases the idea of reworking a motif was already in place when Munch drew it. For the etching: The Hearse. Potsdamer Platz (see MM.G.00066) he drew ten rapid sketches in which he focussed on details and individuals (see MM.T.00133-15-verso below). It is clear that he was standing in the Potsdamer Platz observing and recording everyday life and was struck by the contrast between the rather hectic activities and death – the hearse – passing by, silent and unnoticed. He then assembled all these detailed sketches into an overall composition in the etching.


The Munch Museum, MM.T.00133-15-verso

A large – almost unknown – bank of ideas hidden in the sketchbooks is represented by the drawings for various plays by Henrik Ibsen, more precisely for Peer Gynt, The Pretenders, John Gabriel Borkman, When We Dead Awaken and Ghosts. Well over 200 drafts in a total of forty-two sketchbooks bear witness to a long-lasting interest in the themes and characters of these plays. Peer Gynt has a central position here; in as many as twenty sketchbooks we find drawings connected with this work, from the buck ride to the aging Peer’s homecoming.

I say “almost unknown”, because there are practically no traces of these sketches in Munch’s painted oeuvre. He certainly painted two portraits of the playwright and sketched several stage sets for Ghosts and Hedda Gabler, but the latter were executed for a commission from Max Reinhardt of the Deutsches Theater, and are markedly different from the free imaginings we find in the sketchbooks. He also used The Pretenders, Ghosts, and John Gabriel Borkman as subjects in his prints (Peer Gynt too, if we include the hectographs), but it is mainly in the drawings that he displays his deep interest in Ibsen. He uses August Strindberg, Albert Kollmann, Ingse Vibe, and other friends and acquaintances as models in casting the roles, but the person he draws most of all in his Ibsen universe is himself. He stages himself as John Gabriel Borkman, as Osvald, and not least as Peer Gynt (see MM.T.02823-16-verso below). Even though he did not perhaps identify fully with these characters, there is a kind of confession involved. Maybe this personal, almost private approach is one of the reasons why he did not paint these motifs. Here again we are touching on the fundamentally intimate nature of the sketchbook.


The Munch Museum, MM.T.02823-16-verso

We have seen that a sketch can be a concrete starting point for further development, possibly the first link in a chain that ends with a famous painting. So it is easy to see the importance of even the most modest little drawing, but we must avoid thinking that the countless sketches that did not become paintings are unimportant or unsuccessful. As we have seen, sketching has many other functions: It develops drawing skills and the ability to give form to what has been observed, and it creates a reservoir of ideas that the artist can draw on, consciously or unconsciously. But – and this is important – the sketch has a value of its own, as a work of art, as a fragment of a work of art, or as an expression of an artistic drive. The unfinished, the incomplete, which Munch strove for – and was criticised for – in his paintings, is the hallmark of the sketch and its strength. The perfect is always boring. A sketch is never perfect.

Magne Bruteig


1 The obvious pitfall here is that Munch kept his sketchbooks all his life, and there are many examples where he has taken out an old sketchbook with blank pages and drawn in it, thus “messing up” the chronology. And even where the sketchbook has perhaps been filled over a limited period of time it is no guarantee of the “internal chronology”. He often skipped pages and came back to them later, and occasionally he turned the book round and began from the back.

2 See Sivert Thue “From types on the promenade to dissecting the soul with pen and paper”, in Magne Bruteig and Ute Kuhlemann Falck (eds.), Edvard Munch. Munch on Paper, Oslo, New Haven and London 2013, p. 208..

3 Vilhelm Krag, Digte (Bergen, 1891).

4 Edvard Munch, diary, 8 December 1880, Munch Museum MM T 2913.

5 The name of the Norwegian capital was originally Oslo. After the Great Fire of 1624, the city was rebuilt and named Christiania, after Christian IV, King of Denmark/Norway. The spelling was changed in 1877 to Kristiania on state level, and in 1897 also on municipal level. In 1925 the original name Oslo was re-established. In accordance with Munch’s own preference, the editors have chosen to use the spelling Kristiania throughout this publication.

6 Herman Colditz (1861–1889) wrote the novel Kjærka, et Atélierinteriør (1888), in which Edvard Munch is easily recognisable in the figure of Nansen. Richard Dehmel (1863–1920) was an author and lyric poet who was active in the group associated with the café known as “Zum schwarzen Ferkel” in Berlin. Adolf Paul (1863–1943) was a Swedish author and dramatist, a friend of Strindberg, and part of the Ferkel group. Holger Drachmann (1846–1908) was a Danish author, lyric poet, dramatist, and painter and a central figure in Scandinavian circles in Berlin in the 1890s. Munch portrayed him in a painting (Munch Museum M 985) and a lithograph (Woll G 197). For more detailed discussion of Munch and his literary associates, see Carla Lathe, ed., Edvard Munch and his Literary Associates (exh. cat.), Norwich, 1979.

7 See Stefan Pucks “Career and illness – Edvard Munch and his German patrons”, in Magne Bruteig and Ute Kuhlemann Falck (eds.), Edvard Munch. Munch on Paper, Oslo, New Haven and London 2013, p. 208.

8 The Munch Museum collection contains about 13,000 pages of text (letters, cards, notes, diaries, literary texts). See the website and Mai Britt Guleng, ed., Text and Image (exh. cat.), Oslo, 2011.

9 Prof. Dr. Dr. Gerd Presler, who published a catalogue raisonné of Munch’s sketchbooks in 2004, lists 159 books (156 of which are in the Munch Museum), with a total of 3,742 sketches. However, the catalogue does not state the principles on which the counting of individual sketches is based. Gerd Presler: Edvard Munch. Werkverzeichnis der Skizzenbücher, Karlsruhe, 2004.

10 For a more detailed discussion of the drawings from this trip, see Magne Bruteig, “Med blyant, penn og kullstift. Edvard Munchs tegninger fra Hedmark 1882”, in Åse Krogsrud, Munchs første strek (Oslo, 2013).

11 Ludvig Ravensberg, diary “Mine reiser med E Munch”, 22 April to 16 July 1909, Munch Museum LR 537, no. 11.

12 This may not be completely correct, as one of the “waterfall watercolours” (Munch Museum MM T 147-5r) seems to be the basis of the background in the motif “the Source” (for example Munch Museum MM M 652 and MM T 1733).

13 Circus Hagenbeck was started by Lorentz Hagenbeck in Kristiania in 1916. We know that Munch was present at this event, and among other things made the two lithographic portraits of the animal tamer Sawade (Woll G 597 and 598).

14 Croquis are quick drawings, usually of a model, who changes position after a few minutes. This standard method of art training develops drawing skills and helps students to concentrate on the important elements of motifs.

First published in:

Edvard Munch. Munch on Paper, Magne Bruteig and Ute Kuhlemann Falck (eds.), Oslo, New Haven and London 2013