Edvard Munch, The Yellow Log (1911)
I went to Oslo at the start of the month. I was really disappointed by the Munch museum, more notable now for the extraordinarily high level of security than the art: airlock doors, whirring cameras, silent security guards watching your every move. Two landscapes were on display, Winter in Kragero (1912) which looks a bit like a Cézanne hillside suddenly covered in snow, and The Yellow Log (1911) in which a woodland scene is given some ostranenie with the prominent log of the title, a shining Symbol like a felled sunbeam. These two post-date most of Munch's best, and best known, paintings. There is an earlier landscape in the Nasjonalgalleriet which I much preferred: Vinterbillede (1899), a simple image of winter that achieves an atmosphere of oppressive stillness through heavy paint and a cropped view of dark trees in the snow.