Category Archives: Edvard Munch

The Photography of Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch built his reputation as a painter. His work spanned both the Symbolist and Expressionist periods of art in Europe. Munch was born in Norway in 1863. Originally, he studied to be an engineer. However, after only one year in this field of study, Munch went on to study to become a painter.

Munch began as an Impressionist painter, but he felt as if this style of painting would not allow him to express his ideas in the proper manner. In the 1890s, Munch adopted what we now recognize as his unique style of painting. In 1893, Munch painted “The Scream” which is the work for which he is known around the world.

While much is known about the painting of Edvard Munch, many do not know that he experimented with photography as well. Beginning in 1902, and continuing through 1910, Munch began using photography as a means to express himself.

Almost all of Munch’s photographs are self-portraits. In these various self-portraits, the artist experimented with different photographic techniques. One thing that he liked to do with his photographs was to intentionally make them appear as if they were not taken correctly. For instance, some of the photographs look as if they are slightly out of focus while others appear to be over exposed.

After 1910, Munch set aside photography and did not take it up again until 1927. He continued taking photographs until the mid 1930s. His photographic periods occurred during the times when he was experiencing problems with this mental health.

Munch never intended his photographs to be seen by the general public. They were not intended for commercial purposes. It appears that the artist took these photographs as a means of relaxation and as a way to cope with mental crisis.