Man in a Cabbage Field, 1916 by Edvard Munch

As with many of the works Munch produced following the completion of the University mural, the full-frontal impact of the design is paramount in this painting. The triangular shape of the cabbage-gatherer, holding bundles of greenery in his arms, breaks through the horizon, his posture suggesting man's struggle against nature. The broad, raw colours, turquoise against olive-green, light purple against brown, and the rapid brushwork, separate the agricultural works from earlier urban paintings such as Mason and Mechanic 1908, with its stark black and white contrasts. Munch completed the last such painting in the year before his death, and their importance was as a prophetic testimonial: 'the day of the workers is at hand', he wrote in 1929. Together with the more machine-oriented Leger he foresaw with enthusiasm an age of huge public murals, invoking a better life for the people.

Munch nevertheless maintains a deliberately down-to-earth approach in these depictions of the folk around Ekely; this is no pastoral idyll. In this adaptation of Vincent van Gogh's painting Sower, with the same the intense, visionary surge of colour and light.