Happy Birthday Edvard Munch!

Edvard Munch

Today is the birthday of Norwegian Symbolist and printmaker, Edvard Much (b. 1863 -1944). .  A  forerunner to Expressionism, Munch’s expressive style explored melancholy and emotional  themes like death, anxiety, sickness and madness.

The Scream sometimes known as 'the Cry'

There’s no doubt about it, that  ‘The Scream’ is Munch’s most famous painting and Munch did  many variations of it.  This painting has been reproduced on tea towels, pub signs, posters – just about anything and everything.  The bridge depicted in the painting was a real one, not very far from where Munch lived was an abattoir, and also an asylum, in which one of the artist’s sister spent some time. ‘The Scream’ depicts isolation and fear.  Living so near to the abattoir and asylum Munch surely must have heard these cries.  As well as  an earlier  brother and sister who died from illness, Munch also lost his mother from Tuberculosis when he was only five. Death and illness seem to stalk the artists work.  

This quote taken from the artist’s diary provide clues to the painting’s inspiration;

” I was walking along the street with two friends – the sun was going down – I felt a touch of melancholy.  Suddenly the colour of the sky changed to blood-red.  I stopped walking and leaned against a fence feeling tired to death….I stood there trembling with fear – and I felt how a long unending scream was foing through the whole of nature.”

The Sick Child

Munch was influenced by the French Impressionists, then the  post Impressionists.  He later went  on to paint scenes for fellow Norwegian, playwright Henrik  Ibsen and was also a member of the Die Brucke (The Bridge, a group of Dresden based Expressionist painters).  Much is such an interesting and influential painter and printmaker.  By use of colour Munch conveys feeling in his work: a true Expressionist.  The colours in ‘The Scream’ painting, red/ orange and greens and blue hint at a violence which seems to threaten and seethe and the wavy jerky erratic lines provide a clue to the figure’s solitary journey into a nightmare world of his own – without chance of a reprieve.

Lots of additional information in THIS article by Adrian Twist

 More about this artist HERE

 More artists birthdays;

 Pable Picasso



Leonardo da Vinci

Hart Benton


Van Gogh












4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Edvard Munch!

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