Happy 149th Birthday, Edvard Munch
The Scream
Edvard Munch
National Gallery, Oslo
The Voice [Die Stemme]
Edvard Munch
Munch Museum, Oslo

Edvard Munch, born this day in 1863, drew on his life experiences to produce his signature unsettling, melancholic works. Both his mother and favorite sister died of tuberculosis when Munch was still young, leaving him to be raised by an emotionally abusive father. Throughout his life, Munch suffered from respiratory problems and alcoholism. Yet these trials were essential to Munch, who attributed his talent and success to his difficult experiences. “My fear of life is necessary to me, as is my illness,” he wrote. “Without anxiety and illness, I am a ship without a rudder... My sufferings are part of my self and my art. They are indistinguishable from me, and their destruction would destroy my art.”