Edvard Munch, Melancholy, a woodcut

Germany, AD 1901

As with many of Munch's works, this design appears in several different versions. Also known as Evening, On the Shore and Jealousy, the composition began as a pastel drawing of 1891, and was painted (in a painting also known as The Yellow Boat) between 1891 and 1892. A first woodcut version made in 1896 had the foreground figure on the left, and only the faintest indication of the figures on the pier. This version, of 1901, is printed from two blocks: the first, with no drawing, sawn into three and inked with grey, blue and orange colours; the second with the graphic image over-printed in black.

The main figure is said to represent the writer Jappe Nielsen, who suffers for his hopeless love of Oda Krogh, pictured with her newly-married husband, Christian, on the pier. Christian Krogh published an article heaping praise on the painted version. The setting is the town of Asgårdstrand in Norway, where Munch spent most of his summers between 1889 and 1906. The British Museum's impression once belonged to Jappe Nielsen.

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Edvard Munch, Melancholy, a woodcut

© 2001 Munch Museum / Munch - Ellingsen Group / DACS


More information


F. Carey, Modern Scandinavian prints, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

E. Prelinger, Edvard Munch: master printmake (London, W.W. Norton and Co., 1983)

F. Carey and A. Griffiths, The print in Germany 1880-1933, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)


Height: 374.000 mm
Weight: 470.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1980-12-13-19



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