Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch

Norwegian, b. 1863 - d. 1944

Place of Birth: Loten, Hedmark

Place of Death: Ekely


Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was a Norwegian painter who built upon the tenets of Symbolism and became a leader of the modern Expressionist movement. His works are intensely evocative of emotional and psychological themes.

Munch's father and aunt raised him after his mother had died of tuberculosis when he was about five. His father's morbid Pietism overshadowed his childhood. Munch would say later that his father was “obsessively religious,” and that he had “inherited the seeds of madness” from him. One of his younger sisters suffered from mental illness. This would be a theme that would appear later in his art works.

The family lived in poverty, moving from one squalid home to another. Munch’s early works depicted their sordid interiors.

By the age of thirteen, Munch showed strong artistic tendencies. He admired the Norwegian landscape school of work that he saw at the Art Association and copied the paintings.

In 1879, Munch began studying engineering, but abandoned it after a year to become a painter. His father and even his neighbors discouraged him from taking up what they considered an unholy trade. Munch persevered, writing that he wanted to “explain life and its meaning” through his art.

In 1881, Munch enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania (present day Oslo).

Munch first experimented with Naturalism and Impressionism, but his works received a poor critical reception. Eventually, he broke away from Impressionism, which he found superficial, to pursue his need to express deep emotional and psychological states.

In 1886, Munch painted “The Sick Child,” based on the death of his sister; a work he claimed was his first soul painting.

By the 1890s, Munch had come into his own, becoming known for his Symbolist direction. In 1893, Munch painted his best known painting, “The Scream.” With this masterpiece Munch reached his stated goal of studying the human soul and the self. The “infinite scream of nature” that struck the artist when he took a walk alongside a river with friends inspired the work. The masterpiece captures the universal angst of humankind.

In 1893, Munch started a series under the "Frieze of Life" themes, including “Puberty,” “Woman in Three Stages,” “The Dance of Life.”

He Munch died in 1944 near Oslo.

See More Lots FOR FREE
at Blouin Art Sales Index

LOTS SOLD (1980 - 2009)






TOTAL SALES (1980 - 2009)


 Geschrei (The Scream) (Woll 38; Schiefler 32) by Edvard Munch

Geschrei (The Scream) (Woll 38; Schiefler 32)

Sotheby's, New York

November 4, 2014

$2,405,000  USD

 Furuskog (Pine Forest) by Edvard Munch

Furuskog (Pine Forest)

Sotheby's, New York

November 4, 2014


 Andreas Schwarz by Edvard Munch

Andreas Schwarz

Christie's, New York

October 23, 2014

$3,000  USD


Recalling Cambodia at Year Zero in "The Missing Picture"

By Graham Fuller | February 4, 2014

The parents, siblings, and other relatives of Rithy Panh died during the 1975-79 Cambodian Genocide. A French-trained writer-director who has dedicated his career to documenting the trauma the...

The Best of the ARTINFO Newswire in 2013

By Benjamin Sutton | December 25, 2013

Surveying the last year of stories on In The Air, the ARTINFO newswire, we’re struck by the non-stop interaction they show between the art world and the broader world of popular culture....

Tobias Meyer Is Leaving Sotheby's

By Rozalia Jovanovic | November 22, 2013

Using a somewhat odd choice of words, Sotheby’s announced today that it and its worldwide head of contemporary art, Tobias Meyer, “have agreed to end his association with Sotheby’s.”We’ve been...

    View More

Sammlerportrait: Nelson Blitz & Catherine Woodard

By BLOUIN ARTINFO Deutschland | November 7, 2014


Edvard Munch: The Scream

Oct 24, 2012 - Apr 29, 2013

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York

The Universe of Edvard Munch

Nov 5, 2011 - Jan 22, 2012

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, Caen