The Haymaker

Edvard Munch1917

The Munch Museum, Oslo

The Munch Museum, Oslo

In the painting Haymaker we see a farmer busy during haymaking season at Ekely.
The man is out in the field, centrally placed in the picture. Steady and energetic, he
swings his scythe in the lavish tall grass.
Both composition and content are concentrated around the man’s body and his
movements. The composition is built from rounded shapes and circular strokes that
emphasizes the motif.
We are lead into the picture where the grass is bent by the scythe’s incision. From the
blades rounded shape we are lead further up through the lines in the freshly cut field to
the right, until the lines disappear behind the man’s body. Our glance is interrupted by the
round tree shapes to the top right, before it glides past the man and against the horizon
where earth meets sky.
The clouds’ slanting lines lead us to the bottom left, to the grown grass that soon will fall
by the blade of the scythe.
The circular movement emphasizes the man’s repeated movements and the scythe’s
rhythmic cuts through the grass, and shows the fate of nature. Fresh grass will soon again
grow from the cut spots.
The composition expresses a harmonic interaction between man and nature.

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  • Title: The Haymaker
  • Date Created: 1917
  • Physical Dimensions: w1500 x h1300 mm
  • Painter: Edvard Munch
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: © Munch-museet/Munch -Ellingsen Gruppen/Bono