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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Madonna by Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch - Madonna

“Madonna” by Edvard Munch

Madonna by Edvard Munch is the usual title for this composition. Munch painted several versions of the composition, showing a bare-breasted half-length female figure, between 1892 and 1895, using oils on canvas. He also produced versions in print form. Munch used more than one title, including both “Loving Woman” and “Madonna”. Munch is not known for religious artwork and was not known as a Christian.

The emphasis in this painting is on the beauty and perfection of his friend and model for the work, and an expression of his worship of her as an ideal of womanhood. Edvard Munch had to cope with mental illness during his life, and he experienced disappointment in love and his health. In Munch’s “Frieze of Life”, he spent more than 30 years of his career depicting the stages of relationships between men and women and is part of what Munch called “the battle between men and women that is called love”. It includes portrayals of attraction, courtship, realisation, and disappointment.

The Kunsthalle Hamburg owns this version. Two other versions are owned by the National Gallery of Norway and the Munch Museum of Oslo. Private collections own other versions.

Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch (1863–1944) was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century. His best-known work is The Scream. The Scream has been imitated, parodied, and following its copyright expiration outright copied, which led to its highly recognisable status in popular culture. The image has used in the promotion of books, music, movies, music, clothing, cultural events and pop culture merchandise.

Reflections

  • Is this painting part of Munch’s “Frieze of Life”, depicting one of the stages of relationships between men and women?

Madonna

  • Title:               Madonna
  • Artist:             Edvard Munch
  • Created:         1895
  • Material:         oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   Height: 90 cm (35.4 ″); Width: 71 cm (27.9 ″)
  • Museum:        Kunsthalle Hamburg

Edvard Munch

A Tour of Germany’s Museums

Berlin Museums

Munich Museums

Hamburg Museums

Frankfurt Museums

Dresden Museums

Nuremberg Museums

Cologne Museums

Karlsruhe Museums

Hanover Museums

~~~

“A kiss is a secret told to the mouth instead of the ear;
kisses are the messengers of love and tenderness.”

– Ingrid Bergman

~~~


Photo Credit: Edvard Munch [Public domain]

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