Edvard Munch

Screamin' in Sweden (not really, he was Norwegian)
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Saher Sohail

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Chloe Bowers

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Woe upon woe befell Edvard Munch, the artist behind one of art history’s most recognizable paintings, The Scream.

Ever wonder what drove him to paint that swirling, red, screaming inner anguish that resonates with so many of us? Well, the fact that his mother, one of his sisters and his only brother all died during his youth may have something to do with him becoming the poster child of tragedy. Oh, and another one of his sisters spent the better part of her life locked up in a mental asylum. He was dealt a tough hand.

Despite all the grimness the Munch kids already had to face, their father still liked to tell them scary ghost stories at night. Edgar Allan Poe was his choice for bedtime reading material. Questionable. Daddy was also a religious fanatic and constantly attempted to imbue a creepy amount of morals in his kids by telling them stuff like their mom was looking down at them from heaven and was disappointed in them when they were being naughty! Munch blamed his father somewhat for his own mental condition, which sounds about right.

All this led to Munch's nervous breakdown in 1908. Well all that and lotsa heavy drinking. He spent eight months institutionalized for hearing voices and for temporary paralysis of one side of his body. But in his distress, he found inspiration. During all these personal upheavals, Munch managed to produce one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. Sorta makes you feel bad about crying over a cancelled TV show, huh? But no judgements here.

Edvard Munch's artwork is highly personalized.

 

"In my art," Munch said, "I attempt to explain life and its meaning to myself."  If The Scream is any indication, Eddie had some demons in that respect.  Perhaps that's why he was a hopeless alcoholic.

 

Munch never married, but had many friends with benefits. He was shot in the left hand by one of his mistresses when he tried to end their affair. Fortunately for him and future art historians, the painter was right handed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edvard Munch is mentioned on Sartle Blog -