Edvard Munch (1863-1944)
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker, and an important forerunner of the Expressionist movement in art. The Scream is Munch's most popular painting, in which he displayed the themes of life, love, fear, death and melancholy. Munch's psychologically and emotionally themed paintings were a major influence on German Expressionism in the early 20th-century. Munch was born into a family that was plagued with poor health; both his mother and sister died before he was 15 years old. Munch showed an early gift for drawing, but received little formal training.
Munch's paintings of women portrayed them as either frail, innocent suffers or as the cause of great longing, jealousy and despair. These paintings, such as Madonna, show Munch's turbulent relationship with love. Although Munch paintings are stylistically post-impressionist, his subject matter is primarily symbolic. Munch said he carefully created his paintings to create a tense atmosphere that depicted a state of mind rather than an external reality. The resulting paintings were full of emotion and energy
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