The portrait in front of you is one of Edvard Munch's most praised depictions of women.
A young woman with long dark hair flowing down in waves towards the two lower corners of the picture.
We see her somewhat from below, while she casts her gaze down to the side. The portrait is made with a few lines but is impressive in its expressiveness.
This is Eilif Salemonsen, art historian at the national museum.
The person portrayed is the English violinist Eva Mudocci. Together with her friend, the pianist Bella Edwards, she toured Europe.
She grew up in London, and her real name was Evangelina Muddock. She took the name Eva Mudocci because, as she said herself later, she had to have "an Italian-sounding name in order to win respect and get out in the rather snobbish music scene in England."
She also toured in Norway, and the brooch she is wearing in the picture was a gift she received in Trondheim in 1901. Mudocci herself calls it "a Norwegian peasant piece of jewellery", and it is probably a brooch similar to the type many Norwegians still use today with their traditional national costumes, the so-called bunads.
The donor was the Norwegian art historian Jens Thiis, who a few years later became director of the National Gallery, and a prominent champion of Munch's art.
Munch met Mudocci in Paris in 1902, and it was the English composer Frederick Delius who introduced them to each other. They became close friends and kept in touch into the 1920s.
Mudocci herself stated that Munch made several attempts to paint a portrait of her during a stay in Berlin in 1903, but that he was not satisfied. Then things went better with the lithographs.
The lithographic technique is characterized by the motif being drawn on a stone which is then used to print the motif from. And he had the stone on which Munch drew this motif, carried up to the room in the hotel where Mudocci was staying, with a note reading the enigmatic message:
"Here is the stone that has fallen from my heart."
Mudocci played a Stradivarius from 1703 with the nickname "Emiliani", which she received as a gift from her teacher Carl Schneider. Today, it is played by the German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.