Edvard Munch was born in Norway, the son of a doctor and an artistic mother who died of tuberculosis when he was around five years old. He was ill most of his childhood, and felt surrounded by death and illness as he grew up. An inherited mental illness ran in his family and he always worried that he would succumb to it. He started painting and drawing as a child and would be known for his emotional and psychological works.
The artist traveled widely, living in Paris and Berlin, and was inspired first by artists such as Van Gogh and Seurat, and later by German Expressionism, though he coalesced these influences and created his own personal style of Symbolism.
Munch’s work The Scream, 1893, is an internationally known icon. The idea for it was conceived on an evening walk when he ‘heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature.’ The last years of his life were spent in relative happiness as he found a way to curb his inner demons. Over 1,000 works by him were bequeathed to Norway and are now in the Munch Museum in Oslo.