Edvard Munch was a painter who marked the history of art with his works. In them, anguish, fear, disease and death predominate, which makes him the forerunner of German expressionism. However, there are a few quotes from Edvard Munch that have survived to this day as well and give us some thought about the art of painting.
The themes Munch chose and which are present in each of his works, for example the anguish in Le Cri , have a lot to do with his personal history. The loneliness and depression that led him to alcoholism allowed his creativity to emerge.
Although he was a fairly renowned painter, Munch died in 1944 in a sanatorium completely in the grip of loneliness. Let’s see some of the sentences he left us.
1. Painting is sacred
This first sentence by Edvard Munch makes it clear that this painter considered painting to be something sacred. Perhaps he viewed painting that way because he was expressing his deepest terrors through it.
Painting for Munch was a way to bring out much of his inner world. It has a lot to do with the death experiences he had in his early childhood (his relatives died when he was still very young).
2. Art is born from within man
According to Edvard Munch, art is born from within man. In other words, from his experiences.
In fact, Munch expresses with this sentence that each painting is the shape of the image of the person who creates it. His whole being, from his eyes to his nerves, is present in each materialized feature. A very profound way of conceiving art.
3. Fear and illness as engines for Edvard Munch
At the beginning we mentioned that depression, loneliness and alcohol had somehow allowed Edvard Munch to let all his creativity express itself on the canvas. All this maelstrom of feelings and actions was the result of a rather stormy romantic relationship.
Although he ended his life in a mental hospital and dependent on alcohol, thanks to this painful experience, he was able to become a recognized artist. Munch acknowledges with this sentence that without fear or disease, he would never have made a difference.
4. Art and desire for communication
The fourth of Edvard Munch’s sentences reveals an important detail that can be found in all expressions of art. Not only painting, but also writing, sculpture or music. All of these arts have the same goal: to convey a message.
Art allows the author to convey his emotions, thoughts, doubts or fears. Through the canvas, Munch showed his anguish, his fear, his terror of being alone. In a way, he tried to express what he was feeling, also seeking empathy from those who saw his works.
5. Painting life according to Edvard Munch
This last sentence of Edvard Munch synthesizes everything we have mentioned and clarifies what art was for this painter. Painting without emotion, one that only reflects a reality we can all see, made no sense to him.
Munch believed that the most valuable art was that which was born within everyone. Art must thus reflect fear, sadness, trauma, pain, love. Ultimately, he must convey emotions.
Do you know any works of art by Edvard Munch? Did you know his personal story? We hope that these sentences have brought you closer to the way of thinking of this painter who suffered a lot in his life, but who left us a very valuable art lesson. Painting is a communication channel that invites reflection.