Portrait of the artist Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch

1863-1944

The Norwegian painter and graphic artist Edvard Munch was one of the most important pioneers of Expressionism. His works revolve around the great human tragedies between Eros and death and he faced the deepest human feelings relentlessly and forcefully.

The oppressive mood of his most famous work, "The Scream", was typical of Munch, whose art often dealt with the existential questions of life, primarily fear, despair, melancholy, grief, death, love and jealousy. In this sombre choice of themes, one can certainly find references to his biography: Munch lost his mother and sister at an early age and struggled with depression and alcoholism throughout his life. Like hardly any other artist, Munch was able to give expression to his state of mind and to impressively bring the emotionally strong themes onto the canvas. Although he painted representationally, he made his motifs appear peculiarly deformed and used a very dynamic painting style with powerful colours. His innovative pictorial language and his way of symbolically depicting states of mind made Edvard Munch a pioneer of Expressionism and one of the most important painters of the 19th and 20th-centuries.

In the summer of 2004, Munch's two most famous paintings, "The Scream" and "Madonna", were stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo in the most spectacular art theft of our time. The paintings were not secured until August 2006. "The Scream" - the world's best-known work of Expressionism - was so badly damaged in the process that it could not be exhibited again until today.

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