Edward Munch: Exhibitions and Influences in Berlin

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Hebrew university Jerusalem Department of art history Edward munch: exhibitions and influences Pros seminar paper: 5651 Berlin, 1912-1933 the west meets the east Served to: Dr. Miriam Weiner By: Gabriel Bendheim 327092896 2013 Introduction Edward Munch was born into a middle-class family which was plagued with sickness. His mother died when he was five, his eldest sister when he was 14, both of tuberculosis. Munch’s father and brother also died when he was still young, and another sister developed mental illness. Munch showed great talent for drawing at an early age but received little formal training. An important factor in his artistic development was the Kristiania Bohème, a circle of writers and artists in Kristiania, (as Oslo was then called). Its members believed in free love and generally opposed bourgeois narrow-mindedness. One of the older painters in the circle, Christian Krohg, gave Munch both instruction and encouragement. Munch soon outgrew the naturalist aesthetic in Kristiania, partly as a result of his assimilation of French Impressionism after a trip to Paris in 1889 and his contact from about 1890 with the work of the Post-Impressionist painters Paul Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. In some of his paintings from this period he adopted the Impressionists’ open brushstrokes, but Gauguin’s use of the bounding line was closer to his thoughts, as was the artist's ambition to go beyond the depiction of external nature and give form to an inner vision of the soul. His friend the Danish poet Emanuel Goldstein introduced him to French Decadent Symbolist poetry during this period, which helped him formulate a new philosophy of art, and a pantheistic conception of sexuality. Munch’s own deep original style came about around the year 1892. The flowing, winding use of line in his new paintings was similar to that of contemporary Art Nouveau, but

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