everything you need to know about Norwegian artist edvard Munch, whose dark drawing adorns the cover of Deep Calleth Upon Deep
MUNCH’S EXPERIENCE OF MORTALITY STARTED EARLY ON
Born in December 1863 in Løten, Norway, edvard Munch was the second of five children. His father, Christian, was a doctor, but was helpless when edvard’s mother died of tuberculosis when the boy was only five years old, and his sister Johanne Sophie passed away at the age of
15 from the same disease.
Johanne Sophie’s death later inspired Munch’s 1885 painting
The Sick Child and many further works. Tragically, another sister,
Laura Catherine, was sent to an asylum early in her life.
HIS MORBID TEMPERAMENT WAS HOME-SCHOOLED
Suffering from ill health as a child, Munch was schooled at home by his pious father. That didn’t stop him from reading his son ghost stories, which inspired macabre nightmares. edvard also said his 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.”
HE TOOK AN EARLY LEAP FROM NATURALISM TO NIHILISM
Having experimented with both the naturalist and impressionist styles of painting early in his career – to critical disapproval – edvard became friends with an anarchist and a nihilist called Hans Jaeger, whose celebration of artistic destruction and suicide pretty much make him an early version of Shining (Swe)’s Niklas Kvarforth. Immersed in the bohemian lifestyle, Munch sought out a more emotional, self-examining style of art.
JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE, THERE’S MORE THAN ONE SCREAM
There are actually four versions of Munch’s most famous painting and representation of the anxiety of modern man, The Scream. Two are painted, and permanently housed in the Oslo National Gallery; two are pastel versions, one of which was auctioned for a whopping $119,922,600 at Sotheby’s in 2012. Two of these versions have been stolen and later recovered, one of them getting damaged in the process.