In many of his self-portraits Munch depicts himself as ill, pitiable and lonely but without any form of sentimentality. The artist looks his own life in the eyes without any cover-up
The self-portraits from the last decade of Munch’s life all have the old man’s confrontation with death as their deepest motif.
In Self-Portrait between the Clock and the Bed he depicts himself without any attempt to hide the fact that he is old – albeit not without an element of defiance in the face of the death which awaits him. With the stance of an old man he places himself between the two symbols of death - the clock and the bed.
Here he stands, on the threshold of the sun-lit room behind him, full of works of art which have been his whole life, and the bedroom, where the shadow on the floor in front of him has the shape of a cross.
Painted in his dying years, Self-Portrait between the Clock and the Bed is one of the last of Munch’s major works.