Lithograph printed in black on medium heavy cream paper with handcolouring in watercolour in green, red, light blue, yellow, yellowish brown and reddish brown
Sheet: 600x1000 mm Image: 380x840 mm
Signed in pencil lower right: Edv. Munch
Annotated by the printer Nielsen in pencil lower left: "No 2. 19/1 1922".
Auctioned Wednesday December 9 2015 at 15:00
LITERATURE: Johan H. Langaard and Reidar Revold: Edvard Munch Aula-dekorasjonene, (Edvard Munch the Decorations for Kristiania University Festival Hall), Oslo 1960.
Gerd Woll: Edvard Munch – The complete graphic Works, Oslo 2012, cat. no. 487.
Edvard Munch initially worked with the motif with the title “The Researchers”, which was to be a fitting pendant for “History”, with science and fertility as a subject matter. But he changed it. He bought the property Ramme at Hvitsten in 1910, to have more space for the large canvases, and he used the open landscape here by the fjord as a background for “Alma Mater”, as an allegory for fertility and freedom. The researching youngsters disappear, and Munch concentrates the composition around the fertile woman only surrounded by smaller children. Munch worked on a number of sketches and preliminary studies for “Alma Mater”.
The hand-coloured impressions probably came about in the process of Munch’s experimenting with final solutions for this subject. Woll, p. 322.