For art lovers across Europe, Edvard Munch (1863-1944) is one of modern art’s greatest painters. He is best known for his work “The Scream”, which is one of the most recognizable works of art worldwide.
Munch was born on December 12, 1863, in Löten, Norway, as the second of five children. During his childhood, he experienced a series of tragedies in his family. His mother died when he was just five years old and later, his sister Sophie died too, both succumbing to tuberculosis. Another sister was diagnosed with a serious mental illness at an early age, and Munch too was often ill.
This unfortunate stroke of fate shaped the young Munch and these experiences are no doubt part of why Munch turned, again and again, to the subject of illness, death and grief in his art.
Death Struggle by Edvard Munch, 1915. Statens Museum for Kunst, CC0
As fans of the painter commemorate his birthday, we’ve gathered together some lesser known photographs of Munch and his family provided by the Munchs hus, Norway.
Edvard Munch’s mother with the 5 children: Inger Marie, Johanne Sophie, Peter Andreas, Laura Cathrine and Edvard Munch, standing to the right of his mother. Dr. Christian Munch (1817 – 1889), Edvard Munch’s father, who raised the children after their mother’s death, worked as military doctor.
Here, you can see the artist as a young man, and later in life, on his 75th birthday.
Here on the left you see Eva Mudocci (1872-1952). Her baptismal name was Evangeline Hope Muddock. She was an English violinist and pianist. She met Edvard Munch in Paris, in 1903 during one of his tours in Europe. On the right you can see Tulla Larsen, a liberated upper-class woman with whom Munch shared an intimate relationship with for years.