Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter, whose best known work, The Scream, has become one of the most iconic images of world art.
Image source: https://cultura.biografieonline.it/ansia-angoscia-munch/
Edvard Munch is best known as being a Norwegian born, expressionist painter, and printer. In the late 20th century, he played a great role in German expressionism, and the art form that later followed; namely because of the strong mental anguish that was displayed in many of the pieces that he created.
Early life and education
Edvard Munch was born in 1863 in a rustic farmhouse in the village of Adalsbruk, located in Loten, Norway. His childhood was overshadowed by illness, bereavement and the dread of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family. Studying at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania (today’s Oslo), Munch began to live a bohemian life under the influence of nihilist Hans Jæger, who urged him to paint his own emotional and psychological state (‘soul painting’). From this would presently emerge his distinctive style.
Travel brought new influences and new outlets. In Berlin, he met Swedish dramatist August Strindberg, whom he painted, as he embarked on his major canon The Frieze of Life, depicting a series of deeply-felt themes such as love, anxiety, jealousy and betrayal, steeped in atmosphere.
Image source: https://www.artsy.net/
The age of Freud and psychoanalysis
Image source: Munch, Melancholy, 1892
Considering that Munch was of a generation with Sigmund Freud and the first rumblings of psychoanalysis, and that he too understood the power of subjective experience and the irrational forces of the mind, a more developed picture shows Munch as a diagnostician of the internal human condition who was well-educated on the artistic and intellectual trends of his time.
Studies on human condition
When Munch did begin painting darker subjects like The Sick Child—one of a series begun in 1885 that he would rework into the 1920s—he was responding to the psychic tumult of growing up in a home torn apart by illness, but he was also channeling the inward-looking aspects of the Symbolist movement, which took the form of a sort of troubled
Image source: https://www.tate.org.uk/
Like many of Munch’s most powerful works, The Sick Child is a painting about various psychological states. If the sick child (modeled after Munch’s own consumptive sister) conveys the inevitability of death, then the faceless female caretaker, who bows her head and refuses to meet the convalescent’s eye, takes our place as the helpless onlooker who represses the idea of mortality.
Edvard Munch painted this work after a walk on the Ekeberg hill, above Oslo. The artist wrote that, looking at the sunset, was overcome with melancholy which transformed into fear when the sky became as red as blood.
Looking at that sky he heard a scream piercing the nature.
The Scream by Munch is the representation of a feeling of fear and the artist conveys it to the viewer through colours and a composition which is an absolute novelty in art world. The protagonist is placed inside a landscape built with wavy lines and which seems to be unreal.
It’s a moodscape, a free interpretation of the artist based on what he felt in that moment.
The man himself, in the foreground, is caught while screaming loudly and raising his hands to cover his ears. In this painting all the elements become an extension of the artist’s feelings.
Therefore, the wavy lines are like a labyrinth of emotions and the viewer’s eye, wandering in all directions looking for a reference point, produces a feeling of confusion.
Image source: https://wallpapercave.com/the-scream-wallpapers
Info source: https://www.artsy.net/ https://www.theartstory.org/artist/munch-edvard/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edvard_Munch https://www.edvardmunch.org/ https://www.theartpostblog.com/en/scream-munch/