Edvard Munch (1863-1944), the Norwegian artist, is regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest painters. Edvard Munch by Himself opens at the Royal Academy of Arts in October and runs until December. It focuses on the artist’s lesser-known self-portraits and will be the first time that such a large cross-section, from all stages of his career, has been brought together. Starting with the first self-portrait painted as a 17 year old student at the Royal School of Drawing, ‘Kristiania’, the exhibition concludes with the last works produced in Ekely in the 1940s. It comprises 150 paintings, drawings, etchings and sketchbooks as well as rarely-seen photographic self-portraits.
Edvard Munch by Himself represents a unique opportunity to survey Munch’s career as he recorded himself passing through moments of self-doubt, depression, illness and passion. These self-portraits capture the artist’s obsession with his own physical and mental wellbeing, concerns shaped by personal experiences, including the deaths of his mother (1868) and his elder sister (1877) from tuberculosis, and his own weak health and bouts of depression.
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