Edvard Munch – A Life on the Edge

Lecture

Edvard Munch  (1863-1944) is one of the most original and individual artists of the modern period.

His childhood was difficult, with a stern, unbending father who never appreciated his son’s talents. Munch’s mother died when Munch was five, his sister Sophie died a slow death of TB nine years later, while another sister suffered from mental illness.

Munch became obsessed by death, illness and the fragility of life. His relationship with women was also difficult and he often portrays the agonies of isolation and rejection in his work.

Munch paintings and graphic work lies at the heart of the Symbolist movement with his subjects reflecting the main themes of the movement – death, illness, fear of the unknown, isolation, melancholy, illicit love, alcohol, jealousy, introspection and above all the rejection of Realism.

After 1910 Munch’s life changed as he mastered his addiction to alcohol, became accepted as a major artist and finally found peace and self-fulfilment in life.

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