Edvard Munch, Norway’s greatest artist and famous for The Scream, once hooted and jeered by the public? How could that be?
Munch’s paintings were revolutionary. The technique of scratching, layering and smudging the canvas was unheard of.
His subjects were the complex ones of life, death, anxiety and human sexuality…frightening in their intensity and beauty, they have become icons causing Munch to be a precursor of modern psychology. We sense the spirit of Sigmund Freud hovering just beyond the frame!
Only when he was 45 and famous abroad did Norway recognize Munch with the Royal Order of St. Olav.
Munch, who never married, lived alone on his estate and became increasingly isolated, yet revered by his public. He called his paintings his children and hated to be separated from them.
Self-Portrait. Between the Clock and the Bed was his last masterpiece, painted shortly before he died at the at the age of 80. This final self-portrait showed the elderly artist standing between a grandfather clock and a bed, two harbingers at the end, his suit loose on his shrinking frame, his features barely there. The canvas is crammed with details – the paintings “his children” in the room behind him and the patterned bedspread on the single bed.
We see what had become of the man who, as he wrote, hung back from “the dance of life.”
See Munch’s most famous paintings. Click here if unable to view the video.