Born in 1863, Edvard Munch spent his childhood in Christiania (the former name of the Norwegian capital, Oslo). The death of his mother and then of his elder sister affected Munch greatly and had an impact on his work. Anguish, solitude, illness, separation and mourning are recurring subjects throughout his long creative period.
Having received a grant, he went to Antwerp where he took part in the World’s Fair. He also spent time in Paris where he studied drawing. In 1886, he took part in the Autumn Exhibition in Christiania where he exhibited several paintings including "The Sick Child". In 1892, he travelled to Berlin to take part in the Union of Berlin Artists’ (Verein Berliner Künstler) exhibition. His works caused a great commotion and the exhibition closed after a few days. The support committee had his works exhibited in Cologne and Düsseldorf and then once again in Berlin where he lived for several years. Several lithograph series, woodcuts and “The Frieze of Life” date from this period.
In 1896, he went back to Paris and spent time rubbing shoulders with writers who frequented Mallarmé’s “Tuesday meetings” as well as the Nabi group, closely associated with “La Revue Blanche”.
In 1902, he met Dr Max Linde, who commissioned several works from the artist. That same year, he broke up with his lover Tulla Larsen and shot himself in the left hand with a revolver. After suffering from depression, he went back to live in Norway. From 1930, serious eye problems began to affect his sight.
During the German occupation of Norway, Munch led a reclusive existence in Ekely, where he died in 1944.