Happy Birthday, Edvard Munch! We at Artsnapper are huge fans of Edvard Munch’s symbolism and German Expressionism with intense psychological themes; we scream his praises.
The Early Life and Eccentricity of Edvard Munch
Munch was born in Norway on December 12, 1863. He was the son of a priest, and lter wrote “My father was temperamentally nervous and obsessively religious—to the point of psychoneurosis. From him I inherited the seeds of madness. The angels of fear, sorrow, and death stood by my side since the day I was born.”
Munch was also associated with a Hans Jaegar, a nihilist who propounded that “a passion to destroy is also a creative passion.” Munch cites Jaegar as a heavy influence upon his work, which explains a lot about his work.
Munch was a bohemian artist, but was still a little old fashioned: he took the brawling and drinking like most others that were “bohemian” in the day, but his attitude towards women remained respectful but uncomfortable of their sudden independence.
Clearly a very complicated, troubled man, Munch had a breakdown in the autumn of 1908. Under advisement of his doctors, he began to avoid drinking and to only socialize with good friends. The result of this was a period in which Munch spent a good deal of time painting full length portraits of his friends
The Nazi Movement
Towards the end of his life in the 1940s, the Nazi’s labeled Munch’s work “degenerate art” (along with Picasso, Paul Klee, Matisse, and many many others) and removed 82 of his works from German museums. 71 of the paintings soon found their way back to Norway through purchase of collectors.
When he died in 1944, his funeral was orchestrated by Nazis and left Norwegians with the false impression that he was a Nazi sympathizer, though he was not.
by Maki Kern