The legitimate hope for a happy life mercilessly leads to the forbidden love with the Vampire, the untold abortion of Madonna and the open madness of the Scream. The line and color are a scathing expression, after Gauguin and Van Gogh, before Matisse, Kirchner and Kandinsky.
His characters play the tragedy of a mental loneliness which is not canceled by their presence in or near a group. Sometimes the stage is guarded on one side by an endless railing over which one or more actors will come at some time to meditate while leaning over the water. This theatrical similarity is the terrible common feature between the Scream, paroxysm of terror, and the very peaceful Girls on the bridge.
In 1901 and 1902, Munch painted several versions of Girls on the bridge, with various position of the characters. One of these artworks brings a little more hope than the other ones. Far away from the suicidal railing, it displays a tight group of four in an attitude conducive to opening a discussion but indeed still not to the exchange of secrets.
This oil on canvas 101 x 102 cm painted in 1902 was sold for $ 30.8 million including premium by Sotheby's in New York on 7 May 2008. It comes back in the same auction room on November 14, lot 12. The press release of October 21 announces an estimate in excess of $ 50M.
SOLD for $ 55M including premium