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Edvard Munch: Archetypes
Artbook | D. A. P.

Edvard Munch: Archetypes

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The authors challenge our preconceptions of Edvard Munch by illustrating the remarkable stylistic and emotional breadth of his paintings—taking us well beyond the reductive association of Munch only with the iconic work The Scream.

Edvard Munch: Archetypes brings together a thematic selection of 80 works—in full-page, museum-quality reproductions—that examine the painter’s long and prolific career and reveal his ability to synthesize the obsessions of modern humanity. This is the first book to emphasize the wide spectrum of emotional archetypes through which Munch reveals various existential obsessions such as love, desire, jealousy, angst and death, and states of mind including melancholy, passion and submission. Each section of the volume is structured around these archetypes, showing the representation of the human figure in various settings: the seaside, the sickroom, the "green room," the woods, the night and the artist’s studio. It combines early works with late versions and paintings with graphic works so as to underscore the thematic and existential circularity of Munch’s oeuvre.

The art of Edvard Munch (1863–1944), who is today considered one of the forefathers of modern art along with Cézanne, van Gogh and Gauguin, developed from a distinctive blend of tradition and experimentation. From the beginnings of his career, the Norwegian artist created a particular mythology for modern times that was in close step with the art, literature and thought of his contemporaries. His aesthetic language, which evolved from Symbolism to Expressionism, deployed various strategies to construct a pictorial narrative of the most universal subjects.

Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was born in Løten, Norway, and studied design and art in Oslo. In May of 1885 he traveled to Paris on a scholarship, and after the deaths of his sister and father the following year, he began to spend most of his time in France. His painting first achieved fame with an 1892 exhibition in Berlin, which also led directly to his influence upon the German Expressionists. Despite struggles with alcohol and mental health, Munch lived to the age of 80.

  • 232 pages
  • Hardcover
  • 9 × 11 in (22.9 × 27.9 cm) trim size
  • 179 illustrations (156 in color)
  • Published by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain, Feb. 2016.
  • Text by Paloma Alarcó, Patricia G. Berman, Jon-Ove Steihaug

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