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Post Lot Text
'SEASIDE'; SIGNED AND DATED LOWER LEFT; OIL ON CANVAS.
Depicting a sea side at twilight, Bord de mer powerfully translates a simple shoreline scene into a strong and mysterious evocation of mood, and perhaps even a metaphor for the journey of life.
After absorbing the impact of Impressionism and the more psychological art of Odilon Redon on his recent journeys and studies in France between 1889-1892, Munch returned periodically to his home in Kristiania (Oslo) where he was often drawn to the nearby coastal village of Aasgardstrand.
The landscape and shoreline at Aasgardstrand - that would form the setting for most of his paintings in the great series of works known as the Frieze of Life - was one that, for Munch, was a landscape of the soul - a mystical place heavily infused with an atmosphere of mystery, memory and melancholy. It was along this same shoreline in the mid-1880s that Munch had been seduced by first lover Frau Heiberg and where he had first been awakened to the ecstasies and terrors of love, that were to haunt his imagination for many years after. This, along with other events that were to occur on the beach, lent the Aasgardstrand shoreline, with its strange play of light on water, a unique atmosphere and transformed it in Munch's mind into a place of existential mystery that proved an important spur in the development of his art. "Have you walked along that shoreline and listened to the sea?" he wrote of Aasgardstrand, "Have you ever noticed how the evening light dissolves into the night? I know of no other place on earth that has such beautiful lingering twilight... to walk about that village is like walking through my own pictures" (Edvard Munch, quoted in S. Prideaux, Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream, New Haven, 2005, p. 122).