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Girls on the Bridge,

by Edvard Munch

 

1901
Oil on canvas
136 x 125,5 cm
Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo

 

Of all the versions that the Norwegian Edvard Munch created of this real place in Oslo, this is perhaps the most dramatic; even though we don’t really know why at first sight.

 

As with other expressionist painters, Munch in Girls on the Bridge endeavours to create a dense and problematic atmosphere, to release the image from its descriptive function and free it to satisfy, first and foremost, the demands of the artist's self-expression.

 

Thus, the painting seems marked by an air of imminent drama. Shapes slip into sinuous groupings, isolated from each other, competing in a tense equilibrium, but with a sense of visual rhythm directly derived from Art Nouveau.