Nov 03, 2015 - Sale 2396

Sale 2396 - Lot 623

Price Realized: $ 21,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 20,000 - $ 30,000

Lithograph, 1908-09. 212x433 mm; 8 1/2x17 inches, full margins. Edition of approximately 80-90. Signed in pencil, lower right. Printed by Dansk Reproduktionsanstalt, Copenhagen. From Alpha and Omega. A very good impression of this extremely scarce lithograph.

Though Woll calls for an edition of approximately 80-90, we have found only 6 other impressions at auction in the past 30 years, indicating that the actual total number of impressions printed might be significantly fewer.

Munch produced the Alpha and Omega series of 18 lithographs while he was undergoing psychiatric treatment in Copenhagen in 1908-09. He had created several preliminary drawings of similar subjects and themes in the mid 1890s and, after exhibiting a number of them in 1903, decided that he would use the works as a basis for a series of prints. The lithographs represent Munch's interpretation of the first two humans--Alpha and Omega (based on Adam and Eve). The process of designing and illustrating his own creation myth proved to be crucially therapeutic for Munch.

This important lithographic series, coupled with the 8 months of professional therapy he received at the time, helped to stabilize Munch. During the last part of his career, from the 1910s onward, Munch's work became more colorful and less pessimistic. He spent most of his last two decades in solitude at his estate in Ekely, at Skøyen, Oslo. Schiefler 311; Woll 341.