Born in 1863, Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter and printmaker. His work was considered to be a great influence of German Expressionism in the early 20th century. From an early age Edvard Munch considered he had “inherited his seeds of madness from his father” or “inherited two of mankind’s most frightful enemies – the heritage of consumption and insanity”. In 1879 he enrolled in technical college to study engineering and excelled in physics, chemistry and math, but left college to become a painter. In 1881 he enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design in Kristiania.
During these years he experimented with Naturalism and Impressionism, with many attempts of these paintings being stung with criticism both from the press and his father. Many of Munch’s nude paintings from early years only survive in sketches. After numerous Impressionism paintings, Munch decided to explore his own emotional and psychological state to realise a deeper perspective of his own painting. From that inward journey, he started ‘soul painting’.
His most famous piece “The Scream” is said to be part of his personal anguish. In 1908 after battling with anxiety, brawling and excessive drinking he decided to receive therapy. This stabilised his personality and his work became more colourful and optimistic. Museums then started acknowledging his artwork. He was made a Knight of the Royal Order of St. Olav “for services in arts”. For the last decades of his life he lived in almost solitude on his nearly self-sufficient estate in Oslo.