65 Facts About Edvard Munch


Edvard Munch's best known work, The Scream, has become one of Western art's most iconic images.


Edvard Munch's childhood was overshadowed by illness, bereavement and the dread of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family.


Edvard Munch briefly considered marriage, but could not commit himself.


Edvard Munch had an elder sister, Johanne Sophie, and three younger siblings: Peter Andreas, Laura Catherine, and Inger Marie.


The family moved to Oslo in 1864 when Christian Edvard Munch was appointed medical officer at Akershus Fortress.


Edvard Munch was tutored by his school mates and his aunt.


Christian Edvard Munch instructed his son in history and literature, and entertained the children with vivid ghost-stories and the tales of the American writer Edgar Allan Poe.


Christian Edvard Munch's military pay was very low, and his attempts to develop a private side practice failed, keeping his family in genteel but perennial poverty.


At 13, Edvard Munch had his first exposure to other artists at the newly formed Art Association, where he admired the work of the Norwegian landscape school.


Edvard Munch returned to copy the paintings, and soon he began to paint in oils.


In 1879, Edvard Munch enrolled in a technical college to study engineering, where he excelled in physics, chemistry and mathematics.


Edvard Munch learned scaled and perspective drawing, but frequent illnesses interrupted his studies.


Edvard Munch's father viewed art as an "unholy trade", and his neighbors reacted bitterly and sent him anonymous letters.


In contrast to his father's rabid pietism, Edvard Munch adopted an undogmatic stance towards art.


In 1881, Edvard Munch enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania, one of whose founders was his distant relative Jacob Edvard Munch.


Edvard Munch's teachers were the sculptor Julius Middelthun and the naturalistic painter Christian Krohg.


That year, Edvard Munch demonstrated his quick absorption of his figure training at the academy in his first portraits, including one of his father and his first self-portrait.


In 1883, Edvard Munch took part in his first public exhibition and shared a studio with other students.


At one point Munch's father, perhaps swayed by the negative opinion of Munch's cousin Edvard Diriks, destroyed at least one painting and refused to advance any more money for art supplies.


Edvard Munch found it superficial and too akin to scientific experimentation.


Edvard Munch felt a need to go deeper and explore situations brimming with emotional content and expressive energy.


Edvard Munch wrote that his painting The Sick Child, based on his sister's death, was his first "soul painting", his first break from Impressionism.


Edvard Munch sees only the essential, and that, naturally, is all he paints.


Art is complete once the artist has really said everything that was on his mind, and this is precisely the advantage Edvard Munch has over painters of the other generation, that he really knows how to show us what he has felt, and what has gripped him, and to this he subordinates everything else.


Edvard Munch continued to employ a variety of brushstroke techniques and color palettes throughout the 1880s and early 1890s, as he struggled to define his style.


Edvard Munch began to carefully calculate his compositions to create tension and emotion.


In 1889, Edvard Munch presented his first one-man show of nearly all his works to date.


Edvard Munch arrived in Paris during the festivities of the Exposition Universelle and roomed with two fellow Norwegian artists.


Edvard Munch spent his mornings at Bonnat's busy studio and afternoons at the exhibition, galleries, and museums.


Edvard Munch was particularly inspired by Gauguin's "reaction against realism" and his credo that "art was human work and not an imitation of Nature", a belief earlier stated by Whistler.


Together with his contemporary Nikolai Astrup, Edvard Munch is considered an innovator of the woodcut medium in Norway.


Edvard Munch returned home and arranged a large loan from a wealthy Norwegian collector when wealthy relatives failed to help, and assumed financial responsibility for his family from then on.


In Berlin, Edvard Munch became involved in an international circle of writers, artists and critics, including the Swedish dramatist and leading intellectual August Strindberg, whom he painted in 1892.


Edvard Munch met Danish writer and painter Holger Drachmann, whom he painted in 1898.


Edvard Munch sold little, but made some income from charging entrance fees to view his controversial paintings.


Already, Edvard Munch was showing a reluctance to part with his paintings, which he termed his "children".


Edvard Munch began to favor a shallow pictorial space and a minimal backdrop for his frontal figures.


Edvard Munch's figures appear to play roles on a theatre stage, whose pantomime of fixed postures signify various emotions; since each character embodies a single psychological dimension, as in The Scream, Edvard Munch's men and women began to appear more symbolic than realistic.


In December 1893, Unter den Linden in Berlin was the location of an exhibition of Edvard Munch's work, showing, among other pieces, six paintings entitled Study for a Series: Love.


Around the start of the 20th century, Edvard Munch worked to finish the "Frieze".


Edvard Munch painted a number of pictures, several of them in bigger format and to some extent featuring the Art Nouveau aesthetics of the time.


Edvard Munch made a wooden frame with carved reliefs for the large painting Metabolism, initially called Adam and Eve.


Edvard Munch portrayed women either as frail, innocent sufferers or as the cause of great longing, jealousy and despair.


Edvard Munch hated to part with his paintings because he thought of his work as a single body of expression.


In 1896, Edvard Munch moved to Paris, where he focused on graphic representations of his Frieze of Life themes.


Edvard Munch produced multi-colored versions of The Sick Child, concerning tuberculosis, which sold well, as well as several nudes and multiple versions of Kiss.


Edvard Munch dubbed this home the "Happy House" and returned here almost every summer for the next 20 years.


Edvard Munch later sawed a self-portrait depicting him and Larsen in half as a consequence of the shooting and subsequent events.


Edvard Munch finally left him and married a younger colleague of Munch.


Edvard Munch took this as a betrayal, and he dwelled on the humiliation for some time to come, channeling some of the bitterness into new paintings.


The therapy Edvard Munch received for the next eight months included diet and "electrification".


Edvard Munch's stay in hospital stabilized his personality, and after returning to Norway in 1909, his work became more colorful and less pessimistic.


Edvard Munch was made a Knight of the Royal Order of St Olav "for services in art".


Edvard Munch found Norwegian printers to substitute for the Germans who had been printing his graphic work.


Edvard Munch occasionally left his home to paint murals on commission, including those done for the Freia chocolate factory.


Edvard Munch died in his house at Ekely near Oslo on 23 January 1944, about a month after his 80th birthday.


Edvard Munch's Nazi-orchestrated funeral suggested to Norwegians that he was a Nazi sympathizer, a kind of appropriation of the independent artist.


The US copyright representative for the Munch Museum and the Estate of Edvard Munch is the Artists Rights Society.


Edvard Munch's art was highly personalized and he did little teaching.


Edvard Munch's works are now represented in numerous major museums and galleries in Norway and abroad.


Three Edvard Munch works were stolen from the Hotel Refsnes Gods in 2005; they were shortly recovered, although one of the works was damaged during the robbery.


Edvard Munch's image appears on the Norwegian 1,000-kroner note, along with pictures inspired by his artwork.


In 2013, four of Edvard Munch's paintings were depicted in a series of stamps by the Norwegian postal service, to commemorate in 2014 the 150th anniversary of his birth.


In 1914 Edvard Munch was finally commissioned to decorate the Aula and the work was completed in 1916.


Edvard Munch declared: "I wanted the decorations to form a complete and independent world of ideas, and I wanted their visual expression to be both distinctively Norwegian and universally human".