Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University

DAC Collection Artist Information

Edvard Munch

Norwegian painter, printmaker, and draftsman

Brief biography, in most instances from the Union List of Artist Names® Online:
Munch, one of the most noted Norwegian artists, was concerned with the expressive representation of emotions and personal relationships in his work. He was associated with the international development of Symbolism during the 1890s and recognized as a major influence on Expressionism. His early work was conventionally naturalistic; by 1884, he belonged to the avant-garde circle of the painter Christian Krøhg. During stays in Paris between 1889 and1892 Munch was influenced by the symbolists, van Gogh, and, above all, Gauguin; it was during this time that he established his characteristic nervous linear style. An exhibition of more than 50 of Munch's work at the Berlin Kunstlerverein (Artists' Union) in 1892 was so scandalous that it was closed after a week with the repercussions leading to the formation of the Berlin Sezession in 1899. Much of the next ten years was spent in Berlin associating with writers such as Richard Dehmel and August Strindberg and creating works featuring his recurrent themes of sexual awareness, illness, jealousy, and insanity. These intense and disturbing works reflected not only Symbolist preoccupations but Munch's difficulties stemming from his own traumatic childhood during which his mother and sister died and his father nearly went mad. While in Berlin he produced his first prints, with lithographs and woodcuts becoming equally important to his paintings. In 1908, he suffered a nervous breakdown and in 1909 he returned permanently to Norway, deliberately abandoning his disturbing themes as part of his recovery. His work became more outgoing, his palette brighter, and his themes more optimistic although his self-portraits retained their earlier intensity. After 1916 Munch became increasingly reclusive and his work regained some of its earlier urgency. He lived at Ekely outside Oslo; when he died he left over 20,000 works to the city. During Munch's lifetime there were many exhibitions of his work in Oslo, Prague, Stockholm, and German cities.

Artist ID number in the Union List of Artist Names®: ULAN 500032949.
The ULAN link above leads to a cataloging authority record at the Getty Research Institute.

Objects related to Edvard Munch:

Edvard Munch The Kiss, 1895 Etching, aquatint, and drypoint printed in brown-black ink on tan wove paper
Edvard Munch Double Portrait of the Painter Walter Leistikow and His Wife, 1902 Lithograph
Edvard Munch Portrait of Tor Hedberg, 1912 Lithograph
http://dac-collection.wesleyan.edu/art36971 is a persistent link to this page with no user-session information.

ULAN biographical content is displayed with permission of the Getty Research Institute. Some ULAN content in some DAC artist records has been lightly edited. Content from the Getty Research Institute is © 2019 The J. Paul Getty Trust. All rights reserved.

Featured Image Groups

Image from Rembrandt holdings
All Rembrandt Holdings

Image from Durer holdings
All Dürer with Images

Image from Faust

Image from Los Caprichos
Los Caprichos

Image from Metamorphoses