Melancholy and silence are among his favorite themes. The Young Woman on the Beach and Two Human Beings (the Lonely Ones) must be considered together and were probably designed simultaneously by the artist. The tall blonde woman in white dress is the same in both scenes. Watching the ocean, she turns her back to the artist, to the viewer and to life.
In the second version a man has come from behind, dressed in dark. He bends his head without looking at the woman. These two people are in a close vicinity one another and psychologically indifferent.
From 1894 Munch uses the prints to disclose his distress. Coloring techniques are varied. He tries all of them with a great technical skill. A very rare aquatint and drypoint 29 x 22 cm of the Young woman on the beach, finished in 1896, was sold for £ 2.13M including premium by Christie's on March 20, 2013.
In 1899 and 1917, the artist uses the woodcut to republish the Two Human beings. Different states allow a more or less figurative vision of the beach, the ocean and the horizon. Hues become softer, expressing both the absence of conflict and the impossibility of communication in that peaceful scene.
On September 27 in London, Sotheby's sells a print 39 x 55 cm of the Two Human beings, probably completed around 1917, lot 141 estimated £ 400K. The artist or his printer used two techniques : the monotype applied through a stencil is linking the ground between the two characters, highlighting that their separate lives occur in the same place at the same time. The rest of the image is printed by three wooden blocks. The surroundings have become abstract.
SOLD for £ 1.56M including premium