Skip to main content
image alt

Edvard Munch

Portrait of Irmgard Steinbart


image alt

One of the most influential artists of the turn of the twentieth century, Edvard Munch departed from conventions of realism through the dynamic compositions and affective palette of his paintings and prints. Many of his allegorical works of the 1890s evoke interior states, including extremes of passion and anguish. Munch also executed commissioned portraits, such as this life-size painting of Irmgard Steinbart, the daughter of a wealthy German banker. Steinbart’s body is elongated and dominates the pictorial space of the canvas. Gazing off to the side, hands clasped loosely, she displays a pensive expression possibly bordering on melancholy. The broken brushwork and vivid colors seem to vibrate across the surface of her dress, while the swirling strokes of the verdant landscape create a somewhat unsettling atmosphere in counterpart to the figure’s interior state. The visible brushwork also leaves traces of the artist’s hand, which is sometimes seen as indexical of the artist’s own subjective response to his subject. [Permanent collection label, 2017]

  • Artist Edvard Munch (Norwegian, 1863–1944)
  • Title Portrait of Irmgard Steinbart
  • Date 1913
  • Medium Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions unframed | 69 3/4 x 34 5/8 in.
  • Credit line Gift of Morton J. May, 1968
  • Object number WU 4392

The Body in Pieces
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 02/16/2024 - 04/15/2024

Wanting Women: Expressions of Desire and Difference in Images of Women from the 16th Century to Today
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 01/31/2014 - 04/14/2014

A Gallery of Modern Art
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 08/09/1994 - 10/16/1994

The Expressionist Challenge
Institute of Contemporary Art, 12/05/1985 - 02/09/1986

Cubists, Surrealists, and Expressionists

The Centennial Exhibition
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University in St. Louis, 05/15/1981 - 10/11/1981

Cubist, Expressionist, and Surrealist Paintings and Sculptures

Portraits and Landscapes

20th Century Masterworks from St. Louis Collections
Saint Louis Art Museum, 12/01/1973 - 02/03/1974

Paintings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Morton D. May
Saint Louis University (St. Louis, Missouri), 02/14/1960 - 07/04/1960

Galerie Beyeler (Basel, Switzerland), 03/28/1955 - 04/30/1955

Kollektiv-Austellung Edvard Munch
Kunst-Salon Fritz Gurlitt (Berlin, Germany), 02/01/1914 - 02/28/1914

Morton J. May, St. Louis

Inscription Recto, lower right corner, in red paint: Edv. Munch / 1913

This artwork record may be incomplete or need refinement. Our staff actively researches the collection and revises records when new information is available. If you have questions or comments about this record, please contact us.