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Does Sadness Contribute to Great Art?

Edvard Munch, a brilliant Norwegian artist, endured much sadness when he was young. After his mother died, when he was five, he lost his sister Sophie (when he was 14) and then his father (when Edvard was 25).

When "Spanish Flu" spread like wildfire throughout Europe, during WWI, Edvard also contracted the illness. It ravaged his body.

After the Nazis invaded Norway, Edvard's work—and the artist himself—were at serious risk. The madman at the helm of Germany had already declared that artists like Munch were "cultural-barbarians" and "art stutterers" who would "be picked-up and liquidated." Despite such threats, Edvard continued to create amazing art.

Do you think that sadness is a factor when an artist creates? How would that work?

Have you ever been motivated by sadness to create something? What was the sadness and what did you create?

Would you have created the art but-for the sadness? Would the end result have been different if you had not been sad at the time you worked on the art?

Edvard Munch viewed his art as his children. Why do you think he felt that way?


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