Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter. His best known work, The Scream, has become one of the most iconic images of world art, his childhood was overshadowed by illness and the dread of inheriting a mental condition that ran in the family. Studying at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania, Munch began to live a bohemian life under the influence of nihilist Hans Jæger, who urged him to paint his own emotional and psychological state. From this emerged his distinctive style. Travel brought new outlets. In Paris, he learned much from Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec their use of colour. In Berlin, he met Swedish dramatist August Strindberg, whom he painted, as he embarked on his major canon The Frieze of Life, depicting a series of deeply-felt themes such as love, anxiety and betrayal, steeped in atmosphere; the Scream was conceived in Kristiania. According to Munch, he was out walking at sunset, when he ‘heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature’; the painting's agonised face is identified with the angst of the modern person.
Between 1893 and 1910, he made two painted versions and two in pastels, as well as a number of prints. One of the pastels would command the fourth highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction; as his fame and wealth grew, his emotional state remained insecure. He considered marriage, but could not commit himself. A breakdown in 1908 forced him to give up heavy drinking, he was cheered by his increasing acceptance by the people of Kristiania and exposure in the city’s museums, his years were spent working in peace and privacy. Although his works were banned in Nazi Germany, most of them survived World War II, ensuring him a secure legacy. Edvard Munch was born in a farmhouse in the village of Ådalsbruk in Løten, Norway, to Laura Catherine Bjølstad and Christian Munch, the son of a priest. Christian was a doctor and medical officer who married Laura, a woman half his age, in 1861. Edvard had an elder sister, Johanne Sophie, three younger siblings: Peter Andreas, Laura Catherine, Inger Marie.
Laura may have encouraged Edvard and Sophie. Edvard was related to historian Peter Andreas Munch; the family moved to Christiania in 1864 when Christian Munch was appointed medical officer at Akershus Fortress. Edvard's mother died of tuberculosis in 1868, as did Munch's favorite sister Johanne Sophie in 1877. After their mother's death, the Munch siblings were raised by their aunt Karen. Ill for much of the winters and kept out of school, Edvard would draw to keep himself occupied, he was tutored by his aunt. Christian Munch instructed his son in history and literature, entertained the children with vivid ghost-stories and the tales of American writer Edgar Allan Poe; as Edvard remembered it, Christian's positive behavior toward his children was overshadowed by his morbid pietism. Munch 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 and death stood by my side since the day I was born."
Christian reprimanded his children by telling them that their mother was looking down from heaven and grieving over their misbehavior. The oppressive religious milieu, Edvard's poor health, the vivid ghost stories helped inspire his macabre visions and nightmares. One of Munch's younger sisters, was diagnosed with mental illness at an early age. Of the five siblings, only Andreas married. Munch would write, "I inherited two of mankind's most frightful enemies—the heritage of consumption and insanity."Christian Munch's military pay was low, his attempts to develop a private side practice failed, keeping his family in genteel but perennial poverty. They moved from one cheap flat to another. Munch's early drawings and watercolors depicted these interiors, the individual objects, such as medicine bottles and drawing implements, plus some landscapes. By his teens, art dominated Munch's interests. At thirteen, Munch had his first exposure to other artists at the newly formed Art Association, where he admired the work of the Norwegian landscape school.
He returned to copy the paintings, soon he began to paint in oils. In 1879, Munch enrolled in a technical college to study engineering, where he excelled in physics and math, he learned scaled and perspective drawing. The following year, much to his father's disappointment, Munch left the college determined to become a painter, his father viewed art as an "unholy trade", his neighbors reacted bitterly and sent him anonymous letters. In contrast to his father's rabid pietism, Munch adopted an undogmatic stance toward art, he wrote his goal in his diary: "in my art I attempt to explain life and its meaning to myself."In 1881, Munch enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania, one of whose founders was his distant relative Jacob Munch. His teachers were the naturalistic painter Christian Krohg; that year, Munch demonstrated his quick absorption of his figure training at the Academy in his first portraits, including one of his father and his first self-portrait. In 1883, Munch shared a studio with other students.
His full-length portrait of Karl Jensen-Hjell, a notorious bohemian-about-town, earned a critic's dismissive response: "It is
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