EDVARD MUNCH’S WORKS IS AN ICON OF MODERN ART IDEAL OF SERENITY AND SELF-CONTROL BY USING ANXIETY AND UNCERTAINTY
Let us look back to life Edvard Munch a bit. Edvard Munch was born on December 12, 1863, in the small town of Loten, Norway, as the second of five children. His father was Christian Munch, the son of a priest, a military doctor, and his mother Laura Cathrine Munch. Besides his older sister Sophie, Munch had three younger siblings. Peter Andreas, two years younger than Edvard, was a physician, who married, and died at age thirty of pneumonia. Edvard’s sister Laura, four years his junior, developed a schizoaffective illness during her adolescence and required intermittent lifelong hospitalizations for mental illness. She died of cancer in 1926. The youngest child, Inger, remained unmarried, outlived Edvard, and compiled a book of family letters. Shortly after Edvard’s mother died, her younger sister, Karen, came to the family home to care for the children, and it was she who encouraged Munch’s art studies, despite Dr. Munch’s disapproval.
The most painful event in Edvard Munch’s life was the premature death of his mother from tuberculosis when he was five years old. This tragedy was compounded when his older sister, Sophie, to whom he had become attached in her place, also died of tuberculosis when Munch was thirteen. In addition to these two major losses during Munch’s critical stages of development, his father became emotionally unavailable when he suffered an agitated depression of psychotic\ proportions, associated with religious preoccupations, after his wife’s death. This entire trauma was intensified by the poverty experienced by the Munch family, despite the fact that Edvard’s father was a physician. This may be the reason where his emotions came from – anxiety and uncertainty. We can see that in his early works.
Early works of Munch are formal art studies; he drew both himself and his family. He began producing self‑portraits in his late teens and continued throughout his life until he died at age seventy-two. A noticeable aspect concerning his self‑portraits is that none of them show him smiling. In fact, in many, his mouth is turned downward, his shoulders sag, and in a number of paintings he produced furrows in his forehead. Munch’s early art work fell into the category of Naturalism because of it was subject matter, which was often a critical commentary on society, and its realistic style. He broke from this school when he was 22 years old and produced what is considered his first major “The Sick Child”. Munch’s picture was about his sister Sophie. He struggled with the motif a long time, searching for “the first impression” and a valid painterly expression for a painful, personal experience. He had renounced perspective and plastic form, and had attained a composition formula reminiscent of icons. The course texture of the surface displayed all the signs of a laborious creative process. The criticism was very negative.
And then, come to one of Munch best works – “The Scream” is described as the first expressionistic picture, and is the most extreme example of Munch’s “soul paintings “.The facial expression depends to a large degree on the painting’s dynamics, the colours and lines. The scene and particularly the foreground figure are grotesquely distorted and rendered in colours that are not taken from external reality. However, it is the impressions of the soul, and not the eye, which are Munch’s main interest.
Munch’s diary of 1892 described it: “I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”
Lubow, Arthur. “Edvard Munch: Beyond The Scream.” Smithsonian 36.12 (2006): 58-67. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W. Wilson). Web. 10 Feb. 2013