Munch, Kyssen (The Kiss), 1895 / Trost (Consolation), 1894
Life, Love, Fear, Death. The themes for Munch’s The Frieze of Life. Universal themes. Ones we can relate to and what we all ponder and experience.
Munch’s art = Symbolism and Expressionism.
In the 1890’s one critic wrote of his work: ‘With ruthless contempt for form, clarity, elegance, wholeness, and realism, he paints with intuitive strength of talent the most subtle visions of the soul.’
And it is as he himself says: My art is really a voluntary confession and an attempt to explain to myself my relationship with life… I am constantly hoping that through this I can help others achieve clarity.
His work is a reflection of his soul, his personal experiences. He felt things deeply. He knew about struggle, depression, the dark side of life. ‘The angels of fear, sorrow, and death stood by my side since the day I was born.’
But he thought of others too. He wanted for art to depict ‘living people who breathe and feel, suffer and love.' Hoping that through his own passionate struggle for answers he could perhaps open the door for others to see and understand life. To know they are not alone. His work is powerful in that way. He was Norwegian, a truly beautiful and picturesque country…. perhaps there is something in that.
He was a Master Printmaker. And he was if nothing else… intense.