Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Expressionist celebrated for his paintings of angst and torment. An unhappy childhood, scarred by the death of his mother and sister, would inform both his work and his adulthood. Having studied at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania, his early paintings were executed in a conventional Impressionist style. However, inspired by the nihilist Han Jaeger, Munch’s work began to focus on inner psychological states, rather than with the representation of surface appearance. Between 1892 and 1908 he lived primarily in Berlin, producing a series known as the ‘Frieze of Life’ that included ‘The Scream’ (1893). It is perhaps not entirely surprising that such anguished images, chronicling his obsession with sickness and physical desire, would be curtailed by a nervous breakdown. Despite his personal difficulties, he enjoyed great success over the next few decades, becoming a major influence on Kirchner and German Expressionism.
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