Eye to Eye, Edward Munch – description of the painting

The whole world as if froze on the floor sigh. Only rapture, complete immersion of each other reign on the canvas. It is unlikely that the heroes notice anything other than the opponent’s eyes.
At this time, the artist was thirty-two years old. The work is written as part of a large cycle, “The Frieze of Life,” consisting of twenty-two paintings. The presented work, which also has the second title “Attraction”, was part of the love-lyric part of the frieze “The Birth of Love”.

In the picture we see two heroes gazing at each other.

Description of the picture:

Eye to eye – Edward Munch. 1894. Oil on canvas. One hundred thirty six x one hundred ten cm A rare example of the lyrical work of Edward Munch painting “Eye to Eye”. Only young people can experience such feelings, but the viewer will not find any ardor and passion here. On the contrary, the young man is pale, his facial features seem to be erased, and this is not important, because only by looking eyes to eyes, the heroes sense the meaning of what is happening. We can only watch this fragile moment.

Two lovers are separated by a tree trunk, as a symbol of emotional and physical distance. Munk introduced this element with an ulterior motive and each viewer interprets the composition in his own way: some see the doom of the feelings of the heroes, others a tragic omen, others simply refer the barrel to the background of the picture, fortunately, Munch did not adhere to the traditional requirements of building a perspective.

In technical terms, the canvas is a classic example of Munch’s expressionism – rough, wide strokes, a clear line, a concrete drawing, a simple composition.

The personal life of the artist can hardly be called happy – a difficult relationship with women, a number of dramatic novels. And in order to understand the emotions of the artist himself while he was working on the painting, it’s enough to turn to his diary entries: “I leaned over and sat down … I felt as if our love … lay on hard stones … I felt that our love lies on earth like ashes. ”

Today this work is less known – it was eclipsed by the greater canvases of the tragic master, but this is no less piercing and philosophical.