Starry Night

Object Details

Title:

Starry Night

Artist/Maker(s):

Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863 - 1944)

Culture:

Norwegian

Date:

1893

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

135.6 x 140 cm (53 3/8 x 55 1/8 in.)

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This night landscape represents the coastline at Åsgårdstrand, a small beach resort south of Oslo in Norway, where Edvard Munch spent his summers from the 1880s onward. Here Munch tried to capture the emotions called forth by the night rather than to record its picturesque qualities. The color blue conveys the mysticism and melancholy of the landscape, which seems full of premonitions. An abstract mound at the right represents a clump of trees; a white fence runs diagonally in front. The vaguely defined shape on the fence may be a shadow of two lovers, a recurring theme in Munch's work. He used an undulating line to depict the shoreline that continues into the trees at the right. Stars reflect in the water, and a flash of light in the trees shines brightly.

Varying thicknesses of blue and green paint are blended together to form the impression of a night sky. Some areas are thickly painted, while others are left bare to convey the lighter segments of the sky or a celestial phenomenon.

Provenance
1893

Oda Krogh, 1860 - 1935 (Oslo, Norway)

1893

and Christian Krogh, 1852 - 1925 (Oslo, Norway), acquired from the artist, 1893; by exchange with Munch for another picture, 1893.

1893 - before 1906

Edvard Munch, Norwegian, 1863 - 1944 (Oslo, Norway), sold to Fridtjof Nansen, before 1906.

before 1906 - still in 1927

Fridtjof Nansen, 1861 - 1930 (Oslo, Norway), sold to Johan Henrik Andresen I, before 1930.

before 1930 -

Johan Henrik Andresen I (Oslo, Norway), by inheritance to Eva Andresen.

by 1954 - about 1960

Eva Andresen (Oslo, Norway), by inheritance to Johan Henrik Andresen II, by about 1960.

about 1960 - about 1965

Johan Henrik Andresen II (Oslo, Norway), by inheritance to Anton Frederik Andresen, about 1965.

about 1965 - still in 1982

Anton Frederik Andresen (Oslo, Norway)

1984

Strand Corporation (Grand Cayman Island), sold through Aldis Browne Fine Arts, Ltd. (New York, New York) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.

Exhibitions
Eduard Munch: Gemälde-Ausstellung (1893) (Cat. 17; possibly Getty painting)
  • Unter den Linden 19, (Berlin), 1893
Förteckning öfver Edvard Munch utställningen (October 1 to October 31, 1894) (Cat. 42; possibly Getty painting)
  • Galerie Blanch i Konstföreningens lokal, (Stockholm), October 1 to October 31, 1894
Sonder-Ausstellung des Edv. Munch (March 3 to March 24, 1895) (Cat. 12; possibly Getty painting)
  • Ugo Barroccio Gallery, (Berlin), March 3 to March 24, 1895
Edouard Munch (May 19, 1896 to ?) (Cat. 12; possibly Getty painting)
  • Salon de l'art nouveau, (Paris), 1896
Salon des Indépendants (April 3 to May 31, 1897) (Cat. 826; possibly Getty painting)
  • Palais des Arts Libéraux, (Paris), April 3 to May 31, 1897
Edevard Munch Udstilling (September 15 to October 17, 1897) (Cat. 85; possibly Getty painting)
  • Dioramalokalet, (Oslo), September 15 to October 17, 1897
Edv. Munchs udstilling (September 23, 1901 to ?) (Cat. 67)
  • Hollændergården, (Oslo), 1901
Fünfte Kunstausstellung der Berliner Secession (1902) (Cat. 187; possibly Getty painting)
  • Kurfürstendamm, (Berlin), 1902
Edevard Munch udstilling (October 16, 1904 to ?) (Cat. 1)
  • Dioramalokalet, (Oslo), 1904
Edvard Munch (February 5 to March 12, 1905) (Cat. 38; possibly Getty painting)
  • Galerie Manes, (Prague), February 5 to March 12, 1905
Den norske Udstilling (1906) (Cat. 185)
  • Palais de Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, 1906
Norwegische Künstler (January 13 to March 3, 1912) (Cat. 16; possibly Getty painting)
  • Künstlerbund Hagen, (Vienna), January 13 to March 3, 1912
Nutida Norsk Konst (March 17 to April 22, 1917) (Cat. 142)
  • Liljevalchs Konsthall, (Stockholm), March 17 to April 22, 1917
Edvard Munch (1927) (Cat. 65)
  • Nasjonalgalleriet, (Oslo), 1927
Edvard Munch (1927) (Cat. 36)
  • Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz, (Berlin), 1927
II Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo (December 1953 to February 1954) (Cat. 4)
  • Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo, December, 1953 to February, 1954
La Biennale di Venezia (XXVII) (1954) (Cat. 17)
Ausstellung Edvard Munch (November 12, 1954 to February 20, 1955) (Cat. 28)
  • Haus der Kunst (Munich), November 12 to December 19, 1954
  • Wallraf-Richartz-Museum - Fondation Corboud, (Cologne), January 3 to February 20, 1955
Arte nordica contemporanea: Danimarca, Islanda, Finlandia, Norvegia e Svezia (April to May, 1955) (Cat. 4074)
  • Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Comune di Roma, (Rome), April to May, 1955
Næringslivet i Kunsten (February 9 to February 21, 1957) (Cat. 12)
  • Kunstnerforbundet, (Oslo), February 9 to February 21, 1957
Munch-bilder i privat eie (January 25 to February 20, 1958) (Cat. 12)
  • Kunstnerforbundet, (Oslo), January 25 to February 20, 1958
Edvard Munch, 1863-1944 (October 7 to November 30, 1958) (Cat. 17)
  • Kunstmuseum (Bern), October 7 to November 30, 1958
Edvard Munch: malarstwo i grafika (November 2 to December 15, 1959) (Cat. 6; possibly Getty painting)
  • Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, (Warsaw), November 2 to December 15, 1959
Edvard Munch (November 9, 1962 to January 6, 1963) (Cat. 14)
  • Steinernes Haus, (Frankfurt am Main), November 9, 1962 to January 6, 1963
L'Espressionismo: pittura, scultura, architettura (May to June, 1964) (Cat. 15)
  • Palazzo Strozzi, (Florence), May to June, 1964
Edvard Munch (October, 1965 to January, 1966) (Cat. 21)
  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, (New York), October, 1965 to January, 1966
Munch, Nolde: The Relationship of Their Art (July to August, 1969) (Cat. 6)
  • Marlborough Gallery, (London), July to August, 1969
Edvard Munch (September 26, 1970 to 1971) (Cat. 10)
  • Kanagawa Kenritsu Kindai Bijutsukan, (Kamakura), September 26 to October 18, 1970
  • Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, (Nagoya), October 21 to November 13, 1970
  • National Museum of Modern Art (Kyoto), January 20 to February 14, 1971
Edvard Munch, 1863-1944 (October 6, 1973 to May 12, 1974) (Cat. 17)
  • Haus der Kunst (Munich), October 6 to December 16, 1973
  • The Hayward Gallery, (London), January 12 to March 3, 1974
  • Centre Georges Pompidou, (Paris), March 22 to May 12, 1974
Edvard Munch: Symbols & Images (November 11, 1978 to February 19, 1979) (Cat. 32)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), November 11, 1978 to February 19, 1979
The Masterworks of Edvard Munch (March 15 to April 24, 1979) (no cat. no.)
  • The Museum of Modern Art (New York), March 15 to April 24, 1979
Interjections (February 15 to June 12, 2005) (no cat.)
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), February 15 to June 12, 2005
Pictorialist Photography and Painting (May 22 to September 7, 2014) (no cat.)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to September 7, 2014
Bibliography

Eduard Munch: Gemälde-Ausstellung, exh. cat. (Berlin: Unter den Linden 19, 1893), unpaginated, no. 17 (possibly Getty painting).

Förteckning öfver Edvard Munch utställningen, exh. cat. (Stockholm: Konstföreningens lokal, 1894), p. 3, no. 42 (possibly Getty painting).

Sonder-Ausstellung des Edv. Munch, exh. cat. (Berlin: Ugo Baroccio, 1895), unpaginated, no. 12 (possibly Getty painting).

Katalog: Edevard Munch Udstilling, exh. cat. (Oslo: Dioramalokalet, 1897), unpaginated, no. 85 (possibly Getty painting).

Société des artistes indépendants [...] Catalogue des oeuvres exposées, 1897, exh. cat. (Paris: Palais des arts libéraux, 1897), p. 60, no. 826 (possibly Getty painting).

Katalog der fünften Kunstausstellung der Berliner Secession, exh. cat. (Berlin: Paul Cassirer, 1902), p. 32, no. 187 (possibly Getty painting).

Fortegnelse over Kunstvaerkerne paa den norske Udstilling, Charlottenborg Efteraaret 1906, exh. cat. (Copenhagen: Kunstforeningen, 1906), p. 11, no. 185.

Norwegische Künstler, exh. cat. (Vienna: Künstlerbund Hagen, 1912), unpaginated, no. 16 (possibly Getty painting).

Nutida norsk konst, exh. cat. (Stockholm: Liljevalchs konsthall, 1917), p. 19, no. 142.

Øverland, Arnulf. Edvard Munch (Kristiania: Berg & Høghs Forlag, 1921), p. 53, ill.

Edvard Munch, exh. cat. (Oslo: Nasjonalgalleriet, 1927), p. 25, no. 65.

Edvard Munch, exh. cat. (Berlin: Nationalgalerie, 1927), p. 18, no. 36.

Thiis, Jens. Edvard Munch og hans samtid: slekten, livet og kunsten, geniet (Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1933), pp. 326, 328-29, ill.

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II Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo: catálogo geral, exh. cat. (São Paulo: Museu de Arte Moderna, 1953), p. 260, no. 4.

Ausstellung Edvard Munch, exh. cat. (Munich: Haus der Kunst, 1954), p. 22, no. 28, pl. 57.

La Biennale di Venezia, exh. cat. (Venice: Lombroso Editore, 1954), p. 414, no. 17.

Arte nordica contemporanea: Danimarca, Islanda, Finlandia, Norvegia e Svezia, exh. cat. (Rome: Palazzo delle Esposizioni, 1955), p. 108, no. 4074.

Munch-bilder i privat eie: malerier, akvareller, tegninger, exh. cat. (Oslo: Kunstnerforbundet, 1958), unpaginated, no. 12.

Edvard Munch, 1863-1944, exh. cat. (Bern: Kunstmuseum, 1958), p. 20, no. 17.

Edvard Munch: malarstwo i grafika, exh. cat. (Warsaw: Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie, 1959), p. 16, no. 6, pl. 10 (illustrates Getty painting but confuses it with a work from the National Gallery, Oslo).

Langaard, Ingrid. Edvard Munch, modningsår: en studie i tidlig ekspresjonisme og symbolisme (Oslo: Gyldendal Norsk Forlag, 1960), pp. 196, 198, 443, 468, fig. 97.

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L'Espressionismo: pittura, scultura, architettura, exh. cat. (Florence: Palazzo Strozzi, 1964), pp. 16, 31, no. 15, ill.

Edvard Munch, exh. cat. (New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1965), p. 45, no. 21, ill.

Hamilton, George Heard. "Munch at the Guggenheim Museum, New York." The Burlington Magazine 108, no. 756 (March 1966), p. 163.

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Munch, Nolde: The Relationship of Their Art, exh. cat. (London: Marlborough Gallery, 1969), p. 12, no. 6.

Boe, Roy Asbjörn. "Edvard Munch: His Life and Work from 1880 to 1920." Ph.D. diss. (New York University, 1969), vol. 1, pp. 193-94, 236, 374; vol. 2, p. 92, fig. 92.

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Edvard Munch, exh. cat. (Kyoto: National Museum for Modern Art, 1971), pp. 27, 133, 183-84, no. 10, ill.

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Edvard Munch, 1863-1944, exh. cat. (Paris: Musée national d'art moderne, 1974), pp. 16, 22, no. 17.

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"Acquisitions/1984." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 13 (1985), p. 214, no. 150, ill.

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