Edvard Munch

Edward MunchEdvard Munch was a notable Norwegian Expressionist painter largely known for his famous painting that in itself is considered one of the best known images in the world.

Generally, Edvard Munch was known for his artful portrayals and treatments of fear, which to some people saw as being very intense. He was also regarded as one of the pioneers of the Expressionist movement which aims to distort reality to provide a certain emotional effect.

Edvard Munch was born on December 12, 1863 in Loten, Norway to Christian Munch and Laura Cathrine Munch, who was a victim of tuberculosis and died early in 1868. They continued to live in Loten until after the death of Edvard’s mother.

After that, his father was left to fend for the whole family, with a brother and two other sisters. They were raised by their father who instilled in them a deep rooted fear that may have later on influenced the young Edvard that was reflected in the paintings that he later created. The family lived in an environment of fear that may also have contributed to the poor health of the Munch siblings.

Although the young Edvard was always ill, he was able to grow and was able to study engineering at a technical college in Oslo. But because of frequent illnesses that interrupted his studies, he left school in order to study painting at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania (present day Oslo). It was here that his love for the arts grew. His initial style of work when he started painting can be defined as naturalistic as well as impressionistic at times. It eventually evolved going into symbolism into much of his later paintings.

Munch preferred to focus on painting mostly figures as the main subjects on his paintings, favoring usually to provide minimal backdrop for his frontal figures. His paintings can usually appear as figures that appear to play roles in a theater stage, in poses and images that impart the different human states of mind and mental condition.

His most famous work is The Scream which was one of the artworks that belong in a series entitled the Frieze of Life. In this series of paintings, Munch tried to explore themes such as love, fear, death, life and melancholy. But it was his depiction of despair in The Scream that captured the eye of many people and eventually become one of the most recognized paintings in the world.

Munch is also known for creating a number of versions of his themed works and can be easily recognized in his other artworks. The Scream actually has two versions. One was both stolen at one time but has since been recovered. One version of the said painting has sustained considerable damage that made it impossible to repair completely.

After several years of influencing the art world with his works, Munch died at a fruitful age of 80 on January 23, 1944 at his simple home in Skoyen, Oslo. He left the world with a treasure of artworks that included 1,000 paintings, 4,500 drawings, 15,400 prints and watercolors along with six sculptures made for the city of Oslo.

Most of his works are now being displayed at the Munch Museum at Toyen, Oslo, a fitting tribute to one of Norway’s greatest contributors in the world of art.

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