Munch

Munch

[muhnch]
Munch, Andreas Peder, 1810-63, Norwegian historian and philologist. A principal figure in the Norwegian literary revival, he contributed an authoritative history of the Norwegian people, Det norske folks historie (8 vol., 1852-63). He maintained that the Eddas and sagas of Old Norse literature belonged to a purely Norwegian-Icelandic literature and not, as was generally supposed, to a common Scandinavian tradition. This view was later generally accepted.
Munch, Edvard, 1863-1944, Norwegian painter and graphic artist. He studied in Oslo and under Bonnat in Paris and traveled in Europe. He abandoned impressionism and in the 1890s, from a profound personal sense of isolation, visually examined such primal themes as birth, death, thwarted love, sex, fear, and anxiety. Stricken by tragedy (his mother and favorite sister died young, another sister was psychotic, and he feared for his own sanity), Munch transformed his own trauma into an exploration of universal themes, creating figurative images that are sometimes violent, sometimes tranquil and sorrowful. He also executed a masterful series of self-portraits. Munch's emotionally charged style is recognized as being of primary importance to the birth of German expressionism. Also during the 1890s, Munch's most productive period, he made a number of powerful and often shocking woodcuts, developing a new technique of direct and forceful cutting that served to revive creative activity in this medium.

Among Munch's strongest and best-known works are The Scream (1893), Vampire (1894), and The Kiss (1895). Reaction to his stark and sometimes fearsome images caused the closing of his first major exhibition held in Berlin in 1892. In 1909, after a severe mental illness, he returned from Germany to Norway, where he painted murals for the Univ. of Oslo and for an Oslo chocolate factory. His painting became brighter of palette and less introverted until the 1920s, when he again was moved to portray his dreadful anguish. All but a few of Munch's paintings, e.g. Summer Night's Dream (The Voice) (1893, Boston Mus. of Fine Arts), are in Norwegian collections.

See Munch: In His Own Words (2001), ed. by P. E. Tojner; The Private Journals of Edvard Munch (2005), ed. by J. G. Holland; biographies by O. Benesch (tr. 1960) and S. Prideaux (2005); studies by A. Moen (3 vol., 1956-58), W. Timm (tr. 1969), J. P. Hodin (1972), T. M. Messer (1973), G. Woll (2001), and K. McShine, ed. (2006).

Edvard Munch, self-portrait, lithograph, 1895; in the Albertina, Vienna

(born Dec. 12, 1863, Løten, Norway—died Jan. 23, 1944, Ekely) Norwegian painter and printmaker. His life and art were marked by the deaths of both parents, his brother, and his sister during his childhood, and the mental illness of another sister. He received little formal training, but the encouragement of a circle of artists in Christiania (now Oslo) and exposure to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism helped him develop a highly original style. It was principally through his work of the 1890s, a series of paintings on love and death in which he gave form to mysterious and dangerous psychic forces, that he made crucial contributions to modern art. The Scream (1893), his most famous work, is often seen as a symbol of modern humanity's spiritual anguish. His etchings, lithographs, drypoints, and woodcuts closely resemble his paintings in style and subject matter. After a nervous breakdown in 1908–09, therapy lent his work a more positive, extroverted tone, but his art never recovered its former intensity. His work influenced the proponents of German Expressionism.

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Edvard Munch, self-portrait, lithograph, 1895; in the Albertina, Vienna

(born Dec. 12, 1863, Løten, Norway—died Jan. 23, 1944, Ekely) Norwegian painter and printmaker. His life and art were marked by the deaths of both parents, his brother, and his sister during his childhood, and the mental illness of another sister. He received little formal training, but the encouragement of a circle of artists in Christiania (now Oslo) and exposure to Impressionism and Post-Impressionism helped him develop a highly original style. It was principally through his work of the 1890s, a series of paintings on love and death in which he gave form to mysterious and dangerous psychic forces, that he made crucial contributions to modern art. The Scream (1893), his most famous work, is often seen as a symbol of modern humanity's spiritual anguish. His etchings, lithographs, drypoints, and woodcuts closely resemble his paintings in style and subject matter. After a nervous breakdown in 1908–09, therapy lent his work a more positive, extroverted tone, but his art never recovered its former intensity. His work influenced the proponents of German Expressionism.

Learn more about Munch, Edvard with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Munch may refer to:

  • Edvard Munch (1863–1944), a Norwegian expressionist painter and printmaker best known for his work The Scream
    • Edvard Munch (film), 1973 biographical film written and directed by Peter Watkins
    • Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway, dedicated to the work and life of the painter Edvard Munch

Other people called Munch:

  • Ernsto Munch (1876–1946), a plant physiologist who proposed the Pressure Flow Hypothesis to explain the mechanism of phloem translocation
  • Gustafa Munch-Petersen (1912–1938), Danish writer and painter
  • John Q. Munch, a fictional detective character played by the actor Richard Belzer on several television shows
  • P.A. Munch (1810–1863), a Norwegian historian who did groundbreaking work on Norway's medieval period
  • Peter Munch (b. 1978), a Danish musician
  • Peter A. Munch (1908-1984), a Norwegian-American sociologist
  • Peter Rochegune Munch (1870–1948), Danish foreign minister from 1929 to 1940 and one of the founders of the Danish Social Liberal Party

Other uses of the word Munch:

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