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Edvard Munch painting with a text overlay - Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth, June 10 - October 15, 2023

 In the Forest 

Edvard Munch, The Fairytale Forest, 1927–29, oil on canvas. Private collection, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Munch’s depictions of trees and forests include romantic encounters between couples, children wandering into dense woods, and scenes of Norway’s logging industry. His depictions of lush Norwegian elm and pine forests capture their beauty throughout the seasons. Timber was among Norway’s largest exports and, while many of these paintings celebrate nature’s bounty, some canvases reveal the destruction of natural resources.

Throughout his life, both at home and abroad, Munch portrayed trees and forests as representations of mystery. Inspired by Fjugstad Forest near Åsgårdstrand, the elm trees near his home at Ekely (outside of Oslo), and the Thuringian Forest in Germany, Munch celebrated the forest’s cyclical process of growth, death, and rebirth in paintings and prints.