The Story of Edvard Munch; Ketil Bjornstad

The Story of Edvard Munch; Ketil Bjornstad

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Damaged in childhood by appalling family tragedies, the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch was obsessed with sickness, insanity and death. His life was tormented by persecution, mania and emotional and physical fragility. Relationships with women foundered in loathing and mistrust, friendships frequently turned to enmity and violence, and his dark, difficult genius was misunderstood. Yet his tortured and shockingly personal art, which at first provoked outrage, eventually gained him fame, wealth and the respect of the art establishment that had rejected him, and of his native Norway. In a single year, no fewer than eleven exhibitions of his paintings were shown throughout Europe, and the city of Oslo built a museum to house his work. Using Munch's own letters and diaries and those of his contemporaries and friends, as well as newspapers and journals of the time, Ketil Bjørnstad's 'literary biography' which can also be read as a novel presents us with a picture of Edvard Munch as unsparingly true as any of his self-portraits.

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