In 1895 the artist realized a series of spectacular engravings synthesizing his haunted vision of the human condition : Scream, Madonna, Vampyr.
During his stay in Paris from 1890 to 1892 Munch had begun to take inspiration from post-impressionist styles to express his symbolism. Back to Paris in 1896 he reworked his Young woman on the beach by liberating her from any companion. A single person is indeed enough to express the loneliness. This quiet image is one of the artist's strongest messages.
The 1896 engraving of the lonely young woman on the beach in 29 x 22 cm image size is made in an aquatint burnished in imitation of a mezzotint which is then hand colored by the artist. Within a total of eleven or twelve impressions only, Gerd Woll distinguishes no fewer than seven color combinations that offer impressionistic variations comparable to Monet's practice.
A copy in the Woll 3 variant was sold for £ 2,13M including premium by Christie's on March 20, 2013. The woman offers a striking contrast against the saturated colors of shore and sea.
On October 23 in New York, Sotheby's sells a copy in the Woll 5 variant, lot 92 estimated $ 3M. Its pastel tones in which the surrounding details are again erased reduce the contrast but reinforce the psychic mystery of this young woman levitating out of space, time and society.