Munch, much more than “The Scream”

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Maria D. Valderrama |

Paris (EFE).- In Norway, he is a national figure, but outside of Norway, the artist Edvard Munch is often recognized simply as the author of the expressionist icon “The Scream”.

For this reason, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris attempted to restore a broader presentation of his work, “a poem of life, love and death.”

In an attempt to restore and bring the public closer to the great figures who marked the path of French and international modernity, Orsay exalts the strong symbolist charge of Munch’s work, which, anchored at the beginning of the nineteenth century, represents an elemental connection with the avant-garde.

“The exhibition gives a very representative view of Munch’s work. He was a very prolific artist and here you can see that he worked on various themes as well as developing them.”

themed show

In a press presentation, the director of the Munch Museum in Oslo, Stein Olav Henrichsen, welcomed the decision of the exhibition curators to make the exhibition thematic rather than chronological, allowing us to see how Munch took up symbols and images again twenty years after the first presentation.

“In Munch’s compositions, we always see these long shots with the character in the foreground and the perspective disappearing, which is very surprising, very avant-garde and characterizes most of his paintings.”

Claire Bernardidirector of the Orangerie Museum.

The title of the exhibition “A Poem about Life, Love and Death” reflects the interests of the artist, who obsessively explores melancholy, melancholy, jealousy or suffering in love relationships and death in his work.


Often there are several versions of the same work or pose, which are endlessly repeated in engravings, drawings and canvases.

The Scream, which also has several representations, is not shown in the exhibition, but is an engraving of the work and an interesting prequel in which the same scenario, composition and red sky heralding agony will be seen later. in the decayed face of a ghostly figure.

The engraving “The Scream” is included in the exhibition by Edward Much at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. EFE/EPA/CHRISTOPHE PETITE TESSON

“I felt a cry that pierced nature,” he wrote about this performance in his diaries, where he left reflections that help to understand the introspective work that explores his own ghosts, shown by the shadows that often follow his characters:

“We don’t die, it’s the world that leaves us”

— Edvard Munch

Association with playwrights

The curator also points to her close connections with the playwrights of the time, for whom she created scripts and recreates them in some interior paintings with very powerful and avant-garde compositions and framing.

“These foreground characters are a way of interacting with the viewer, a call to immerse themselves in the canvas. Sometimes we may think that it is also a repellant, something that prevents us from entering their somewhat phantasmagoric world of trauma and suffering,” explains Bernardi.

The exhibition, open from September 20 to January 22, 2023, is Orsay’s big bet for this season, along with a bicentenary retrospective of the artist Rosa Bonheur, and will be accompanied by a large number of side events such as the screening of a documentary about the artist at France Télévisions.

Web version: Mar Montreal

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at

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