HumanitiesWeb.org - "Madonna" by Edvard Munch [Selected Works]
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Madonna

  Buy now from allposters.com1895: Munch Museum, Oslo

The oil version of this lithograph was painted in 1893 and shows a later stage in the series on love. It depicts a woman at the moment of orgasm, wearing, as the artist described it, 'a corpses's smile', by which he meant that the moment of her fulfilment was also the moment of death. Having achieved her biological role of conception, 'the chain binding the thousands of dead generations to the thousands of generations to come is linked together'. In the lithograph, this chain is represented by the flow of spermatozoa in the border and the shrivelled embryo which seems poised between life and death in the lower left hand corner.
 
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