Edvard Munch is the most well-known painter Norway has ever produced. His interest in psychological themes expanded the scope of the Symbolism movement and influenced early twentieth-century German Expressionism.
Edvard Munch was born into a family that struggled with physical and mental health. His mother and sister succumbed to tuberculosis. Another sister was diagnosed with mental health issues, and Munch himself was often too sick to get out of bed. Munch never married or had children, and he considered his paintings his offspring. As the Nazis took control of Norway, Munch hid his paintings in his house, terrified that the work would be confiscated.
The Sick Child(1886) was inspired by his sister’s death and represents his first break from Impressionism. Munch considered the painting to be a breakthrough in his art, and he made several versions of it. After his father died, Edvard Munch entered the most productive phase of his career, beginning with a series of paintings he did for an exhibition in Berlin called The Frieze of Life. The paintings in the series were named for his emotional states: Anxiety, Despair, Melancholy, Death in the Sickroom, Jealousy, and his most famous work, The Scream. The exhibition was a wild success, and Munch suddenly became a collectible artist. The Scream was completed in 1893 and to this day remains one of the most well-known paintings in the world. The anxiety and fear represented in the painting are universal and viscerally understood by people from all cultures and countries. Munch felt that his physical ailments, personal tragedies, and anxiety were the source of his creativity and that suffering made better artists. After he quit drinking and recovered his health, Munch became a recluse, using the wealth he had earned to isolate himself from family, friends, and the public. He did not produce any more major works, but his suffering seemed to ease in the second half of his life.
- Recently,The Screamsold for $119.9 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at public auction.
- Tulla Larsen was a woman who was obsessed with getting Munch to marry her.
- Nazis deemed Munch a “degenerate” artist, and all of his paintings in German public collections were sold at auction.