Edvard munchEdvard Munch 1863-1944

Norwegian painter and printmaker. His life and art were marked by the deaths of both parents, his brother, and his sister during his childhood, and the mental illness of another sister. He received little formal training, but the encouragement of a circle of artists in Christiania (now Oslo) and exposure to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism helped him develop a highly original style. It was principally through his work of the 1890s, a series of paintings on love and death in which he gave form to mysterious and dangerous psychic forces, that he made crucial contributions to modern art. The Scream (1893), his most famous work, is often seen as a symbol of modern humanity's spiritual anguish. His etchings, lithographs, drypoints, and woodcuts closely resemble his paintings in style and subject matter. After a nervous breakdown in 190809, therapy lent his work a more positive, extroverted tone, but his art never recovered its former intensity. His work influenced the proponents of German Expressionism.

Courtesy of Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. 2003.