Late Prints and Disappearing Motifs
Munch’s printmaking oeuvre comprises over 750 motifs and nearly 30,000 impressions. Due to the artist’s unconventional working methods, it is often almost impossible to establish a precise chronological sequence. As Munch himself said, “I have incessantly continued to work on my prints and experimented with various impressions – I often use prints as a basis for drawing and hand-coloring.”
In a series of woodcuts of the 1930s and 40s, Munch focused so strongly on the effects of the wood grain that the motif seemed almost to disappear into it. In Starry Night, the motif is still discernable.