Workers in the Snow, 1912 by Edvard Munch

The workers' stolid forms contrast to the ghostlike creatures swarming along Karl Johan Street in Evening on Karl Johan Street. After lambasting the bourgeoisie, Munch's new-found public outlook led him to depict the working-class world, although he was not a romantic or political idealist.

The Roadmenders by Edouard Manet is the source for this painting, but Munch is more determined to portray specific workmen. They form a wedge, their shovels and legs creating an architectonic framework. Their exertion is apparent in their faces; the man on the right seems to rest on his shovel, while the smaller figures behind are working in the snow. A rough dignity and self-esteem radiates from the group, caught as though posing for a photograph, placing the work in the tradition of Millet (though without his sentiment) and van Gogh (but without his intensity).