The Musée d’Orsay is devoting an exhibition to the famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, whose work in its breadth nevertheless remains partly unknown.

Edvard Munch

Many variations of the same motif

Edvard Munch ‘s work occupies a pivotal place in artistic modernity. It has its roots in the 19th century to fully fit into the next. Moreover, his entire work is innervated by a singular vision of the world conferring on it a powerful symbolist dimension which cannot be reduced to the few masterpieces he created in the 1890s. century, Munch transcends this movement beyond its peak to make it the backbone of his work, thus giving it great coherence. Munch’s singular creative process leads him to create many variations of the same motif, but also several versions of the same subject. Eminently symbolist, the notion of cycle thus played a key role in Munch’s thought and art. It intervenes at several levels in his work until it comes into play in the very construction of his canvases, where certain motifs recur on a regular basis.

Edvard Munch

Inspired by the vitalist philosophies

For Munch, humanity and nature are united in the cycle of life, death and rebirth. In this context, he developed an original iconography, largely inspired by the vitalist philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson. Munch himself underlined this when speaking of his Frieze of Life: “these canvases, it is true relatively difficult to understand, will […] be easier to grasp if they are integrated into a whole. » The exhibition will present a hundred works, paintings, but also drawings, prints or even engraved blocks, reflecting the diversity of his practice. This large-scale presentation, with a retrospective dimension, will embrace the entire career of the artist. It will invite the visitor to review the work of the Norwegian painter as a whole by following the thread of an always inventive pictorial thought: a work that is both fundamentally coherent, even obsessive, and at the same time constantly renewed.

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