Print Dimensions: 32cm x 31cm
Munch and Cézanne show nude men frolicking outside with other men, as same-sex nude swimming by men was socially accepted and in some spheres openly encouraged. These artists heroicize their bathers, making them the embodiment of strength, virility, and morality. Munch in particular was drawn to the subject, partially as a result of his own poor health and due to the influence of the growing Freikörperkultur (Free Body Culture) movement, which advocated nudism, regular bathing, and soaking up the sun as a part of a path to physical and spiritual renewal.
In 1879, Munch enrolled in a technical college to study engineering, where he excelled in physics, chemistry and math. He learned scaled and perspective drawing, but frequent illnesses interrupted his studies. The following year, much to his father’s disappointment, Munch left the college determined to become a painter. His father viewed art as an “unholy trade”, and his neighbors reacted bitterly and sent him anonymous letters. In contrast to his father’s rabid pietism, Munch adopted an undogmatic stance toward art. He wrote his goal in his diary: “in my art I attempt to explain life and its meaning to myself.
In 1881, Munch enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania, one of whose founders was his distant relative Jacob Munch. His teachers were sculptor Julius Middelthun and the naturalistic painter Christian Krohg. That year, Munch demonstrated his quick absorption of his figure training at the Academy in his first portraits, including one of his father and his first self-portrait. In 1883, Munch took part in his first public exhibition and shared a studio with other students. His full-length portrait of Karl Jensen-Hjell, a notorious bohemian-about-town, earned a critic’s dismissive response: “It is impressionism carried to the extreme. It is a travesty of art. Munch’s nude paintings from this period survive only in sketches, except for Standing Nude (1887). They may have been confiscated by his father.
$60.00 – $160.00 inc.GST