This is Munch's first colour lithograph. He regarded it as his most important print, and produced it in a variety of colour combinations. The subject relates to the death from tuberculosis of Munch's eldest sister Sophie in 1877, and also refers to the artist's own sickly childhood. It is not an exact portrayal of his sister, as a model posed for the work. Munch made several paintings and a group of lithographs of this particular scene. Images of suffering, tragedy, sickness and death occur repeatedly in his work.