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Definition: Munch, Edvard from Philip's Encyclopedia

Norwegian painter and printmaker. Munch was one of the most influential of modern artists, inspiring expressionism. Munch's tortured, isolated figures and violent colouring caused a scandal when he exhibited his work in Berlin in 1892, but his paintings inspired progressive artists to form the Sezession. Munch compiled a series of studies of love and death entitled a Frieze of Life, which included The Scream (1893). Other important works are Ashes (1894) and Virginia Creeper (1898).

Summary Article: Munch, Edvard
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Norwegian painter and graphic artist, a major influence on expressionism. His highly charged paintings, characterized by strong colours and distorted forms, often focus on intense emotional states, as in one of his best-known works The Scream (1893). His works brought a new urgency and power to the two themes that dominated late 19th-century decadence, death and sexuality.

He studied in Paris and Berlin, and his major works date from the period 1892–1908, when he lived mainly in Germany. Influenced first by the Symbolists and then by van Gogh and Gauguin, he soon developed his own expressive style, reducing his compositions to broad areas of strong colour with sinuous contours emphasized by heavy brushstrokes, distorting faces and figures. His first show in Berlin 1892 made a great impact on young German artists. The Frieze of Life 1890s, a sequence of symbolic paintings, includes some of his most characteristic images.

In 1908 he suffered a nervous breakdown and returned to Norway. Later works include a series of murals 1910–15 in the assembly halls of Oslo University.


Munch, Edvard



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