Edvard Munch

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Edvard Munch in 1921, painted by Anders Beer Wilse

Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter and print-maker. He was born in Adalsbruk. He was an expressionist. He is well known for his treatment of emotion such as fear. His way of seeing things had a large influence on the expressionism of the 20th century. People saw this treatment as being intense.

Munch was ill very often. Many scientists think that he suffered from bipolar disorder (manic depression). He died at his house in Oslo.

Famous paintings[change | edit source]

The Scream (1893; originally called Despair). This is Munch's best-known painting, and is one of the best known images in the world. It is one of the pieces in a series titled The Frieze of Life. In the series Munch explored the themes of life, love, fear, death and melancholy. As with many of his works, he made several versions of the painting. One version was stolen from the Munch-museum in Oslo, Norway, on 22 August 2004, but on 31 August 2006 Norwegian police found it together with another picture that was stolen at the same time, Madonna.

The Frieze of Life themes come back throughout Munch's work. These themes can be seen in paintings such as The Sick Child (1886, portrait of his deceased sister Sophie), (1893–1894), Ashes (1894), and The Bridge. The last-named shows limp figures. Those figures have faces witth no features, or they have no faces at all. Threatening shapes of heavy trees and houses are above the figures. Munch portrayed women either as frail, innocent sufferers or as lurid, life-devouring vampires. Munch analysts say this reflects his sexual anxieties.

Other websites[change | edit source]

Munch and bipolar disorder: