Edvard Munch Without The Scream

Edvard MunchOn this day in 1863, the German Expressionist Edvard Munch was born. Don’t misunderstand, however; he was a a Norwegian painter, and quite a bit more idiosyncratic than most German Expressionists. He is one of those artists who is cursed to be associated with a single painting. In his case, The Scream, which he painted when he was just 30 years old. But he is so much greater than that.

He was also influenced by the impressionists. And during his time in France, he was doubtless influenced by the post-impressionists. Some of my favorite of his paintings remind me of Gauguin. A quick check of Wikipedia discloses that he was influenced by Gauguin as well as van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. I think I can see the van Gogh to some extent, but my powers of art appreciation are not keen enough to see the influence of the great illustrator.

Here is an example of what I mean. It is The Girls on the Jetty — or rather, one of 18 he painted around 1900:

The Girls on the Jetty - Edvard Munch

It is still Munch and Symbolist, but the use of colors strikes me very much like Gauguin. You can see this even more in an earlier painting, At the Roulette Table in Monte Carlo:

At the Roulette Table in Monte Carlo - Edvard Munch

I’ve had some difficulty finding much of his later work that really blows me away. That’s not to say that his later work is bad. It is just that there isn’t all that much of it on line — or at least it is hidden beneath a million copies of The Scream and parodies of it. But here is a painting from 1914, Weeping Nude:

Weeping Nude - Edvard Much

Happy birthday Edvard Munch!

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