Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch is regarded as the pioneer of the Expressionist movement in modern painting. At an early stage Munch was recognised in Germany and central Europe as one of the creators of a new and different movement of art, that helped artists to express their feelings about all the social change that was happening around them.
Munch was born in 1863, and before long he had come to know the intensity of emotional pain. His father was a doctor who often bought patients to the Munch home. His mother died when Edvard was five years old, his older sister died of disease at the age of fifteen, and Edvard himself was often ill. One of his youngest sisters was also diagnosed with a mental illness at an early age. With death and illness as a major element in his life, he felt the need to find a way of expressing this.
After a year at a Technical school to study engineering, Munch became dedicated to his artwork. He left Technical school and entered a school of design.
In 1886 he produced the painting titled The Sick Child, which was inspired by the death of his sister Sophie. Munch produced the image six times in oils and twice in prints, slowly developing the technique that gave the final, intensely textured and dark painting. People objected to the technique Munch used in this painting, complaining that it was crudely painted but to him it ‘opened new paths for myself. It became a breakthrough in my art. Most of my later works owe their existence to this picture.’
After a one-man exhibition, he managed to gain scholarships, which enabled him to move to France. During his time in Paris he explored a way of painting that focused on the art of symbolism and expressing of the emotions through application of paint and certain techniques that he adopted from the French Impressionists.
Munch produced a series of paintings he named ‘The Frieze of Life’ which he exhibited at a major art show in Berlin in 1892. The paintings caused such sho…


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