Artist: Edvard Munch
Size: 111 x 121 cm
Museum: Munch Museum (Oslo, Norway)
Self-portrait with a Bottle of Wine graphically illustrates this sense of despair and disintegration. Seated at a table, the artist is trapped by the receding diagonal lines that sweep away to the back wall, forcing his head into the centre of the painting. The unstable perspective and relative sizes of the ﬁgures disorientates the viewer. What was in fact a ﬁreplace has become a glowing red shape that frames his head and expresses his inner agitation. His body slumps with hands limply held together, and from behind his back rise two waiters facing in different directions, but almost sharing the same body, as though expressive of a divided self. The ﬁerce complementary red and green and the warmth of yellow against pale green contribute to the overall tension. Details like the delicate way in which the white and blue of the tablecloth grasps him round the neck, and the sickly green of the glass, help to unify a composition that draws its strength from the repeated rectangular shapes of body, table, window.
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