There are other variants of this artwork that have been hand coloured, such as one in the Guggenhein which has had several different tones added afterwards. Whilst that one has elements of pink within it, some will prefer the limited palette of the version in front of us, where the simplicity of black and white can also create a particularly unique atmosphere. Within the composition we see one woman lying back within wavy lines, with another figure embracing her from the side. The style and content is entirely typical of Edvard Munch who was an artist that focused on the themes of life, death and love within much of his work and also capturing embracing couples on many occasions, both as lithographs and also oil paintings. Style-wise it is also similar to another of his lithographs designs, namely The Urn.
Munch frequently created all manner of different features in his paintings with a mass of wavy lines. In this case they represent the waves, as mentioned in the title of the piece. At other times it would be to produce the skies in his landscape paintings, such as those found in famous artworks like The Scream, Despair, Anxiety and Despair. In each case he would combine orange and red, with darker blues for the foreground which left behind a powerful and memorable contrast. This would certainly be one of his signature styles and it still worked even when he reduced the palette down to a simple black and white look. His lithographs create an entirely unique atmosphere from the brighter oil paintings and provide an interesting addition to his career oeuvre.
This artwork was finished in 1896 and this version can be found in the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in Israel. Visitors to this venue will also be able to see the likes of The Viaduct at L'Estaque by Georges Braque, Portrait of Friedericke Maria Beer by Gustav Klimt and The Lovers by Marc Chagall. Many of the world's most famous artists have come from a Jewish background and so it is right that some of them would be represented within Israel's art institutions. Always check ahead if you are looking to view a specific piece, as rotations are performed regularly and some items maybe loaned in or out on occasion. It is relatively rare to find an original Munch artwork within that country, with most still remaining in his native Norway.