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  • Edvard Munch
    Dec 12, 1863 - Jan 23, 1944
  • Anxiety - Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionistic art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of life, love, fear, death, and melancholia. His work often included the symbolic portrayal of such themes as misery, sickness, and death.
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  • Edvard Munch
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  • 1894
    Oil on canvas
    94 cm (37.01 in.) x 74 cm (29.13 in.)
    Munch-museet, Oslo, Norway.

    Although written many years after he painted them, this evocative description suggests the emotionally fraught state of the figures in images such as Anxiety and The Scream, which are among the most powerful and iconic works Munch created. With their jarring use of perspective, these pictures recall the Impressionist cityscapes Munch made of Paris two years earlier. But here, he reimagined and transformed those brightly colored daytime streets into a nightmare of staring faces, darkened avenues, and isolated Norwegian settings. As he turned away from his Impressionist experiments and toward a technique and subject matter all his own, Munch pursued an interest in anxiety and alienation that stretched back to early pictures. He also responded to the example of artists such as James Ensor, whose use of carnivalesque masks would have presented him with an ideal means of conveying his distaste for false bourgeois morality. The raw, almost mystical paintings of Gauguin and van Gogh, meanwhile, displayed the disorienting spaces, mysterious figures, and glaring, acidic colors that Munch incorporated into his own work as he sought to raise the sense of tension to a fever pitch.

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Other paintings by Edvard Munch:

Couple on the Shore (from the Reinhardt Frieze)
Couple on the Shore (from the Reinhardt Frieze)
The Girls on the Bridge (At the Bridge)
The Girls on the Bridge (At the Bridge)
17th of May in a Small, Norwegian Town
17th of May in a Small, Norwegian Town
A Pine
A Pine
Edvard Munch1863-1944. The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch is regarded as a pioneer in the Expressionist movement in modern painting. At an early stage Munch was recognized in Germany and central Europe as one of the creators of a new epoch. His star is still on the ascendant in the other European countries, and in the rest of the world. Munch's art from the 1890s is the most well known, but his later work is steadily attracting greater attention, and it appears to inspire present-day artists in particular. Often called the father of Expressionism, the Norwegian painter suffered as a child with illness, loss, and psychological terror, emotions that characterize many early images. He chose painting as his life's work at a young age and traveled throughout Europe, especially to Paris, where he absorbed the influences of Impressionism, then Post-Impressionism, and Art Nouveau design. While in Berlin, he joined a circle of writers and artists that included playwrights Henrik Ibsen and August Strindberg, who became friends and collaborators. Just as his Scandinavian colleagues, Munch unflinchingly brought the darker side of the human experience to his art.