The red virginia creeper, which gives the picture its title, appears not only to be organically but also biologically alive. It knots itself around the house almost in a stranglehold as if part of a macabre death. A tragedy appears to have taken place in the house, a tragedy the man in the foreground sees in his mind`s eye.
Death in the Sickroom goes back to the memory of the death of Munch`s beloved sister, Sophie. Otherwise the models are depicted at the ages they were when the motif was painted, not their ages when the event took place. Here Munch may have wished to express a dimension of contemporaneousness - demonstrating that the family would always be affected by Sophie`s death.
There are two painted versions of The Voice, one in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the other in the Munch Museum. The first version was exhibited in Berlin in 1893 as the first picture in a series jointly entitled Study for a Series: Love. These love motifs were the first works in what would later be known as The Frieze of Life.
The background landscape, inside Kristiania Fjord, is the same that we find in The Scream. The pale, ghostly faces come toward us like a procession of ghosts, in a line which could almost be seen as a funeral cortège.
The motif is burnished and scraped out with a burnisher, and the plate is then inked with the finest nuances in blue, yellow and red using dollies. A total of 11 colour prints of this aquatint are known, and all differ in some respect. The female figure in white appears in several of Munch's works, and represents innocence, purity and beauty.
The picture is one of the series of landscapes from the turn of the century, with rhythmic and lyrical tones in surfaces, colours and lines, bearing hardly any traces of the earlier nervous energy and restless experimentation. The tentative observation of nature is portrayed in a classic, simplified technique in the synthesising art nouveau style of the time.
In Self-Portrait with a Bottle of Wine Munch is equally melancholic and passive, as he appears self- confident in Self-Portrait with Brushes. The entire position, the relaxed hands and the resigned expression, indicate that all power has deserted him. The atmosphere presses down on the artist, conveying an oppressive feeling of melancholy and loneliness.
In this self-portrait Munch reveals sides of his life which most other people wish to keep hidden: anxiety and restlessness as a result of loneliness. The uncurtained windows and the bare room emphasise the feeling of loneliness and isolation.
In the group of starry night motifs seen from Munch's veranda at Ekely, where the blue winter night conveys a fateful sense of melancholy, we see how Munch makes use of rounded shapes in constructing the painting. The shadow in the foreground - in all likelihood Munch's own shadow - expresses loneliness in the face of death.