Museum unveils newly-discovered Munch painting
3 June 2005
BREMEN - The Bremen Kunsthalle art museum on Friday put on display a previously unknown painting by Norwegian master Edvard Munch, depicting a naked girl appearing to be threatened by a vision of the faces of three men.
Museum director Wulf Herzogenrath said the painting could be interpreted as depicting the fears of a girl in her puberty about the male sex.
The Kunsthalle titled the painting 'Girl and Three Men's Heads'. Three men's faces appear to be dancing like masks in front of a shy and withdrawn girl sitting naked on a chair.
Herzogenrath spoke of the "sensational find" in describing how the painting was discovered while restoration work was being done on the
Munch painting 'The Dead Mother'.
Restorers happened to discover the second canvas beneath 'The Dead Mother' canvas. The museum commissioned art experts and historians to examine it, with their verdict being that the painting was also by Munch (1863-1944).
The symbolist-style painting, measuring 90 by 100 centimetres, is estimated by art experts to date to around 1898.
"The work is a wonderful new picture for humankind," Herzogenrath said, while recalling the theft of two Munch paintings at the Oslo art museum, including the famous 'The Scream', in August 2004.
"Humankind has lost two Munch pictures...and now humankind has gained a new painting thanks to academic research," he said.
Bremer Kunsthalle art historian Barbara Nierhoff said there was no doubt about the authenticity of the painting being by Munch, as both the subject matter and style of the discovered painting fit into the painter's oeuvre. Among others, there was the painting 'Puberty' from 1893 showing a naked girl being threatened by a shadowy figure.
The new Munch painting will be on public display at the Bremer Kunsthalle for three months.
'Girl and Three Men's Heads'
link to (English website of) Kunsthalle Bremen