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Edvard Munch (1863 - 1944)

Related: angst - modern art - Scandinavia

The Scream (1893) - Edvard Munch [image link]

An agonized figure wails against a blood red Oslofjord skyline in Edvard Munch's The Scream (1893). The work is the archetypical illustration of the notion of angst, anxiety and strong emotions in general.


Edvard Munch (LÝten, December 12, 1863 - Ekely (near Oslo), January 23, 1944) was a Norwegian Expressionist painter and printmaker. His intense, evocative treatment of psychological anguish was a major influence on the development of German Expressionism in the early 20th century. The Scream (1893; originally called Despair), which is probably Munch's most famous painting, is regarded as an icon of existential anguish. As with many of his works, he painted several versions of it. The Scream is one of a number of works in a series entitled The Frieze of Life, which Munch assembled round the turn-of-the-century; it deals with themes of life, love, fear, death and melancholy.

All of these themes recur throughout Munch's work, in paintings such as The Sick Child (1886, portrait of his deceased sister Sophie), Vampire (1893-94), Ashes (1894) and The Bridge. The latter shows limp figures with featureless or hidden faces, over which loom the threatening shapes of heavy trees and brooding houses. Munch portrayed women either as frail, innocent sufferers or as lurid, life-devouring vampires. This reflects Munch's sexual anxieties. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Munch [Aug 2004]

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