Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863 -1944) was active for more than 60 years – from the 1880s until his death. He was a prolific artist whose range, and volume, of work is staggering. On his death, he bequeathed to the city of Oslo, 1008 painting, 4,443 drawings, and 15,391 prints in addition to etchings, lithographs, woodcuts etc. All of which makes it even more ironic that today he is known the world over for one single image – the iconic Scream.
Munch experimented in different movements – from Pointillism to Expressionism. Yet, it is in his sorrowful paintings that he reveals his soul and shares the enduring sadness he felt after the death of his mother and then his sister.
When I was looking at Paul Gauguin’s Still Life with Peonies (1884), I noticed something interesting – there’s an Edgar Degas ballerina painting in the background. What is the other painting in the background? I think it’s a Cezanne painting, but I haven’t been able to find the exact painting yet. I noticed Gauguin does this a lot – in many of his still life paintings, there is another painting in the background – almost like an homage to an artist friend or an artist he admired.
Paul Gauguin (1848 – 1903), the French Post-Impressionist artist is most well known for the paintings he made while living in Tahiti. Gauguin was a friend of Camille Pissaro, Paul Cezanne, Degas, and even Van Gogh – with Cezanne having the biggest influence on him. He collected artworks of both Degas and Cezanne, many of which appear in the background of his works.
Still Life with Japanese Print, and, Still Life with Head-Shaped Vase and Japanese Woodcut – both have a Japanese print in the background. Interestingly, the painting on the left in the background, at first glance looked like a Gustav Klimt painting to me!!
In an interesting turn of events, French artist Maurice Denis (1870 – 1943) pays homage to Cezanne and indirectly to Gauguin and Renior in this painting. The painting in the front easel is Cezanne’s Fruit Bowl, Glass, and Apples (1879) which was owned by Gauguin. Hanging on the back wall of the gallery are a Gauguin and a Renoir painting
(Images courtesy Google Arts & Culture &National Museum of Australia)