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Edvard Munch the Man

Essay by   •  December 20, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,373 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,115 Views

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Edvard Munch is regarded as the pioneer of the Expressionist movement in modern painting. At an early stage Munch was recognised in Germany and central Europe as one of the creators of a new and different movement of art, that helped artists to express their feelings about all the social change that was happening around them.

Munch was born in 1863, and before long he had come to know the intensity of emotional pain. His father was a doctor who often bought patients to the Munch home. His mother died when Edvard was five years old, his older sister died of disease at the age of fifteen, and Edvard himself was often ill. One of his youngest sisters was also diagnosed with a mental illness at an early age. With death and illness as a major element in his life, he felt the need to find a way of expressing this.

After a year at a Technical school to study engineering, Munch became dedicated to his artwork. He left Technical school and entered a school of design.

In 1886 he produced the painting titled The Sick Child, which was inspired by the death of his sister Sophie. Munch produced the image six times in oils and twice in prints, slowly developing the technique that gave the final, intensely textured and dark painting. People

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Most of my later works owe their existence to this picture.

An example of his changed style is the 1912 painting, 'Galloping Horse'. He never completed this project, and in 1930 he began to experience eye trouble. The paintings caused such shock that the show was shut down.

In 1893, Munch painted 'Vampire', which creates a motif of vulgarity and deception.

Munch was an extremely powerful painter in that he was able to communicate his deepest emotions and thoughts through his work.

In 1908 Munch suffered an anxiety attack and was hospitalised. Although he was plagued by death and suffering throughout his life, he managed to use this to give himself the best qualities he could as a painter. The woman is depicted as a creature of temptation, a selfish enslaver of men. She embraces the man, and appears to be sucking the life out of him.

Edvard wrote of the inspiration of the painting in his diary. The paintings showed emotion that had never been expressed so openly through art before. This painting is laced with hidden meanings, the faceless clock represents the uncertainty of the artists time left, the bed represents death, the placement of the figure between these two pieces symbolises the decisions and issues he is experiencing. The painting depicts a horse pulling a cart, which appears to be dangerously out of control. The body is distorted, twisted and disfigured with terror.

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" was painted around the end of the 19th century, and is possibly the first Expressionist painting. The Scream was very different from the art of its time. During this time artists tried to paint realistic paintings. Munch was a tortured soul, and it certainly showed in this painting. Most of his family had died, and he was often plagued by sickness. The Scream was a reflection of what was going on at the time, and what was going on in Munch's own mind

It seemed to me that I could hear the scream. I painted this picture; painted the clouds as real blood. The colors screamed" (Preble 52). Some people, when they look at this painting, only see a person screaming. They see the pretty blend of colors, but don't actually realize what they are looking at. A lone emaciated figure halts on a bridge clutching his ears, his eyes and mouth open wide in a scream of anguish. Behind him a couple (his two "friends") are walking together in the opposite direction. Barely discernible in the swirling motion of a red-blood sunset and deep blue-black fjord, are tiny boats at sea, and the suggestion of town buildings (Preble 53). This painting was definitely the first of its kind, the first Expressionist painting. People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that's the case, then "The Scream" is worth a million. It has a message that no other painting of its time had. Edvard Munch was pouring out his soul onto the canvas. What we see here, is a glimpse of what Munch was really like inside. When we really look at the painting, we understand what the artist was feeling at the time, because it captures nothing but human emotion. It creates a similar mood in us for a brief moment. The man screaming in the picture seems to feel like he's going insane, and that the world is getting to be too much for him. The two people walking away from him possibly mean that the man feels left out of everything, or that he doesn't fit in with the rest of the world. Maybe he needs help, and his friends weren't there for him. The piece of artwork speaks better than actual words to describe it, which makes it something spectacular. Long after Munch died, the painting remains, and people are still amazed with it. Why? Because art is all about expressing raw human emotion, and this painting captures it perfectly. People are scared of things they don't understand or cannot relate to. Everyone can relate to what this piece expresses, and that is why it's so popular.

This picture to me drips pure emotion. Munch's own personal despair went into this painting. The loneliness of the figure and the violent

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