This 150th birthday tribute to Edvard Munch (1863–1944), Norway’s most famed painter and printmaker, includes more than 20 renowned works from the Gallery’s collection, such as Geschrei (The Scream) (1895), The Madonna (1895, printed 1912/1913), and a unique series of six variant impressions, Two Women on the Shore (1898, printed 1906–c. 1917 or later).
Munch is today revered for his passionate visual expression of intense human experiences. “Art is your heart’s blood,” he said. His most famous image—a screaming figure, its eyes wide with horror—is an icon of anxiety, alienation, and anguish. Attraction, love, jealousy, and death were also recurring themes. In addition to these dramatic subjects, Munch made many telling portraits, tender visions of women, as well as sensitive studies of lovers, children, and adolescents. However, the real power of his art lies less in his biography than in his ability to extrapolate universal human experiences from his own life. In recent decades the National Gallery of Art has presented three major exhibitions of Munch’s work, the last in 2010.
My friend Trine made this article about Munch for the cartalog.