Edvard Munch - 12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944
Born in Ådalsbruk, United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway
"The Scream" by Norwegian Symbolist and influencer of German Expressionism Edvard Munch, is arguably one of the world's most famous paintings and Munch's most recognized work. Munch actually created four versions of "The Scream" - 2 oils and 2 pastels.
On 2 May 2012, Munch's 1895 pastel "The Scream" sold for US $119,922,500.
Yes, over 119 million dollars.
This is how Munch described what lay behind his extraordinary work "The Scream".
"I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature."
(Faerna, José María (1995). Munch. New York: Harry N. Abrams. p. 16.)
"The Scream" touched our psyches and infiltrated our culture as few other works of art have. Was Munch's other work as dark and emotional? Yes.
"I do not believe in the art which is not the compulsive result of Man's urge to open his heart."
(Eggum, Arne; Munch, Edvard (1984). Edvard Munch: Paintings, Sketches, and Studies. New York: C.N. Potter. p.10)
"My father was temperamentally nervous and obsessively religious—to the point of psychoneurosis. From him I inherited the seeds of madness. The angels of fear, sorrow, and death stood by my side since the day I was born."
(Prideaux, Sue (2005). Edvard Munch: Behind the Scream. New Haven: Yale University Press.)
Edvard Munch's work was highly personal - he lived a troubled life and his art reflects this.
Edvard Munch grew up in dire poverty and surrounded by illness. Munch's mother died of Tuberculosis when Munch was just 5, he was terribly ill throughout his childhood, and his beloved sister Sophie also died of Tuberculosis when she was 15 and Munch was only 13. He was raised by his father who was a strict Calvinist and suffered from mental illness. After leaving home, he lived a life of self-imposed exile, believing that to be solitary created great art. In 1908, suffering depression, seeing hallucinations and experiencing feelings of persecution, Munch was also dealing with alcoholism. It is here when Munch reached an emotional breaking point and was hospitalized for 8 months. He was never married and had no children.
When Munch died, his remaining works were not left to any of his family members but were bequeathed to the city of Oslo, which built the Munch Museum. - 1,100 paintings, 4,500 drawings, 18,000 prints and six sculptures. An extraordinary amount of work. An extraordinary legacy for Norway and for artists and art lovers world-wide.
Possibly more than any other artist, Munch expressed in visual form the inner life of modern man. His images of loss, loneliness, anxiety, dread and sexuality touched a chord in viewers that most artists desperately try to reach.
To learn more about this extraordinary artist, visit - https://www.edvardmunch.org/
New students wanting to learn how to paint are faced with deciding which medium to choose to paint with. This can be really confusing, so I want to give you a synopsis of the differences between the three types of paints most commonly used - acrylic paint, watercolour paint and oil paint.
All paint is made of two things - pigment (the colour - a dry powder) and a binder (this is what holds the dry pigment together and let's you apply it on a support like paper, canvas, wood etc.).
The three paints we are discussing use different binders - so each type of paint will dry differently, move differently across the paper or canvas, create different transparencies, and reflect colour differently. It is the type of binder used in each type of paint that makes the paint handle in these different ways. An artist is able to do different things which each type of paint and paint quite different paintings depending on his or her choice of medium.
Certain painting techniques work better with certain paints and, certainly, an oil painting does not look like a watercolour. However, every paint produces extraordinary work and the choice will depend mostly on your personality, and your style of art.
If you can, try all three paint mediums before you invest heavily in one type of paint. Everybody is different and your personality will likely respond more to one type of paint more that another. If you can't find classes in your area to do that, start with a limited colour palette first - just a few tubes of colour and a couple of brushes to try each medium.
Here are some pros and cons of each type of paint to help you choose what to begin with.
But seriously, they are all amazing, every medium creates beautiful art.
(The photos provided of each medium do not speak to the range that each medium can achieve, but I have tried to select pieces that represent the medium and well-known artists that worked in each specific paint type.)
For inspiration and to see what acrylic paint can do visit the National Acrylic Painter's Association
A Wreck, Possibly Related to 'Longships Lighthouse, Land's End' c.1834 - Tate Museum
Joseph Mallord William Turner
338 x 491 mm - Watercolour on Paper
For inspiration and to see what watercolour paint can do visit the Royal Watercolour Society
For inspiration and to see what oil paint can do visit the Royal Institute of Oil Painters