Edvard Munch: A Repetitive Painter

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The art of Edvard Munch shows a progression of his psychological life. Munch was a tormented soul. His mother died when he was five years old. His sister Sophie died when Munch was just fourteen. Munch’s father died when Munch was twenty-five, and soon after that another of Munch’s sisters, Laura, went mad and was committed to an insane asylum. Munch himself wrote in his diary that, “The angels of fear, sorrow and death stood by [his] side since the day [he] was born" (Fineman). Munch’s repeated confrontations with loss and madness made him chose to paint in a new and more psychologically motivated way. He wrote in his journal, “no [more] interiors with men reading and women knitting” (Hunter 47). Though one might argue that all painting carries with it an element of the psychological, because art is an expression of what the mind sees and not necessarily what the eye alone sees, but Munch’s overall intention was to paint emotion in a more deliberate sense. He felt that such paintings would force people to, “understand the sacredness of them and take off their hats as if they were in church” (Hunter 47). Munch’s aim was always to convey an emotional life that he felt more classically inspired and executed works to ignore. In his quest to complete this task Munch makes himself one in a line of artists that would propel the meaning behind art to new mental territory. Munch strove to paint his subjects in a cyclical way, so that all of his work would speak together. What he achieved was a collection of work that weaves together as though it is a human life, maybe even his own. Munch’s “The Scream” of 1893 is his most well known work. The image can be seen repeated on t-shirts and coffee mugs. The fame of this piece is partially due to the fact that it has been stolen twice in the recent past (Scream Stolen from Norway Museum). It is also famous,

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