Self Portrait Edvard Munch
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Quotations about Edvard Munch

"He paints - that is to say - he looks at things in a different way from other artist. He sees only the essence and, consequently, paints only that. That is why Munch's pictures as a rule are ‘unfinished’, as people have taken such delight in saying. Oh yes! They are finished. Finished from his hand. Art is finished when the artist has said all that he really has to say, and this is the advantage Munch has over his generations of painters, he has the unique ability to show us how he felt and what gripped him, making everything else seem unimportant."

- Christian Krohg, Dagbladet (newspaper)


"For some time he has wanted to paint the memories of a sunset. Red as blood. No, it really was coagulated blood. But no one would see it the same way. Anyone else would think of clouds. Talking about it made him feel sad and uneasy. Sad because the humble means available to art were never enough. ‘He is striving for the impossible and his own despair is his faith’, I thought; but I advised him to paint it. - And he painted this curious Scream."

- Christian Skredsvig, Munch's friend


"He does not paint the image of nature itself but the image his memory, not scenery directly and at first hand, as it stands there in the outer world, but its subjective likeness, which for longer or shorter periods of time is etched and burnt into his retina and into his soul and constantly springs out of the darkness in garnish colours under his eyelids as soon as he shuts his eyes."

- Ola Hansson, Swedish critic


"Munch writes poetry with color. He has taught himself to see the full potential of color in art … His use of color is above all lyrical. He feels color and he reveals his feelings through colors; he does not see them in isolation. He does not just see yellow, red and blue and violet; he sees sorrow and screaming and melancholy and decay."

- (Sigbjørn Obstfelder, 1893)

"Great poets and painters are seldom understood at first, seldom honoured. They can be glad if they are not shown the door and politely thrown out, like Mr. Munch..."

- Walter Leistikow, "Die freihe Bühne" (German magazine)


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