The Dance of Life
The Dance of Life, 1899–1900, Oil painting on canvas, 125 x 191 cm
This painting was based on Edvard Munch’s experience of observing a dance in Paris. The painter depicted the philosophy of life with the instant of dance. The characters and the environment in the painting had profound symbolic meaning: the girl in white dress on the left and the small flower growing on the grass, symbolizing youth, purity and beauty; a pair of dancing men and women in the middle symbolized the burning love; on the right, a lonely middle-aged women in black plunged into sorrow and loss, despair and sadness. There were different dancers in the background, driven by desire, crazy and excited.