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Edvard Munch - The Dead Mother

Edvard Munch - The Dead Mother Disasters Famous Historical Events Medicine Tragedies and Triumphs Visual Arts Famous People

Tuberculosis, a terrible disease which once devastated many families in Scandinavia, claimed Edvard Munch’s mother when he was only five years old.

In this painting, we see a child whose eyes tell us how upset she is. Accompanying her wide-eyed disbelief, the girl holds her hands to her ears. What is she trying to block out? Reality? The stillness of the room?  The news that her Mother is forever gone?

It is fair to wonder why Munch created so many paintings where his subjects are sickness and death. Curators at the National Gallery, in Oslo, give us some insight into the times in which Munch lost his mother, his sister and other family members:

The subject of sickness was so widespread in the late 1800s that those years have been called the “pillow period” in Scandinavian painting. “Sickness, madness and death were the black angels who watched over my cradle,” Munch wrote.

“I paint not what I see, but what I saw,” Munch once said about his works.

In this painting, Munch seems to recall the loss of his own Mother.

Known as the "Father of Expressionism," Edvard Munch created this work - The Dead Mother - circa, 1899.  It seems, in a way, eerily prophetic of terrible times to come.  The painting is now maintained at the Kunsthalle,  in Bremen.

Click on the image for a better view.


Media Credits

Image, described above, online courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

 

PD

 

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