Edvard Munch, 1863-1944, the Norwegian expressionist painter, steadily gained popularity among artists and art connoisseurs mostly after his death. Like Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, Monet’s Waterlilies, Raja Ravi Verma’s Saraswati, The Scream is of Edvard Much’s. The Scream is a reference to the human condition, in which the human clasps both hands to the sides of the head, banging the skull, almost, or in the artist’s words, ‘infinite scream passing through nature’.
‘This great (Edvard Munch) and lonely artist has been appreciated…only by a handful of initiated people in the West. He has remained practically unknown to the Americans as well as to the English and French.’ –J.P. Hodin
The artist began experimenting with painting his own emotional and psychological states: soul painting, the study of the soul, the study of the self. The Sick Child by the artist is cited as another example of Soul Painting. His other paintings reflect love, anxiety, jealousy, betrayal, and atmospheric ones.
Edvard Much’s paintings had been displayed at the National Gallery in Oslo, the capital of Norway. But on two occasions two of his paintings were stolen and recovered. Norway, however, decided to have a dedicated museum to its most famous artist.
The 13-storeyed building on the Oslo Fjord is the museum without mentioning the word ‘museum’ but called MUNCH. It is solely dedicated to the artist: Edvard Munch. The bachelor artist who died at the age of 80 suffered from mental illness like his family members.
MUNCH the art centre is a building with a theatre, library, cinema, exhibition centre and an open-top restaurant with panoramic views across the fjord. The design of the building is unorthodox, it is neither boxed nor angular nor rectangular but an undulating structure with aluminium cladding on the exterior.
Edvard Munch’s paintings include Madonna, also called the Woman Making Love, which shows a young, bare-breasted woman. The painting took more than three years, 1892-1895, for the artist to paint. One critic observed that it captures the sanctity and sensuality of intercourse; another said it glorifies decadent love; yet another observer alluded it to the Annunciation: the Annunciation of the Lord is a Christian celebration of the announcement by Gabriel the Angel to Mary that she would be conceiving a son through a virgin birth: she would be the mother of Jesus Christ.
The painting titled the Researchers is an 11-metre bathing scene symbolising the importance of hygiene, sun and physical education.
‘In my art I attempt to explain life and its meaning to myself.’ –Edvard Munch