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A self-portrait of Edvard Munch who's standing whilst holding a cigarette
"Self-Portrait with Cigarette", Edvard Munch (1895).
Photo: Nasjonalmuseet / Børre Høstland
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Edvard Munch earned his place in history with artwork influenced by his restless soul and the Norwegian nature. Meet the creator of the iconic masterpiece The Scream.

It’s been more than 125 years since Edvard Munch painted The Scream; however, the pale human figure with its skull-shaped head and ovoid mouth still captivates people all over the world. The painting is an icon of modern art. It’s been named the second most famous picture in art history (after the Mona Lisa). It even has its own emoji 😱!

Though The Scream might be better known than the artist himself, Munch is one of the most famous Norwegians of all time. Born in Løten in 1863, Munch was active as an artist for more than 60 years. Many of his works were influenced by existential themes such as anxiety, jealousy, and melancholy, making his art as relevant today as it was 125 years ago.

Munch didn’t only turn to his own tormented internal landscape for motifs. He was also inspired by the stunning scenery that surrounded him, and the places where he lived and resided can also be seen in his paintings.

Today, you can still stroll around and experience the places that inspired his creativity, from the idyllic shores of Åsgårdstrand and Kragerø to the bustling main street Karl Johan in Oslo.

Experience Munch up close

Norway’s capital also hosts the world's biggest collection of Munch's work. MUNCH is the most comprehensive single-artist museum in the world, exhibiting more than half of the artist’s paintings. The collection includes famous works like The Scream, Madonna, The Dance of Life, Puberty, and The Sick Child. In 2021, the former Munch Museum closed, and its works were moved to an ultra-modern 13-story tall MUNCH museum in Bjørvika in Oslo. MUNCH's collection includes works from every stage of the artist's career. The new museum has lots of exhibition space and several restaurants, and also hosts exhibitions by contemporary artists and workshops.

The National Museum in Oslo also contains several of Munch’s most significant works, including early versions of The Scream, The Girls on the Bridge, The Brooch, and Melancholy

You can also experience more of Munch’s art on a guided tour of Oslo City Hall, and in the nearby University Aula, which is open during concerts and other events. Munch’s studio at Ekely outside Oslo city centre is part of MUNCH and is usually open during summer. The Munch Spot in Ekeberg park gives you the same view over Oslo that Munch had when he first had the idea for the motif depicted in The Scream. Ekeberg contains a vast open-air sculpture park. In the Stroll through Tøyen, an Oslo neighbourhood filled with contemporary street art. You can also visit Munch’s grave at the Vår frelsers gravlund cemetery, which contains a bust of the artist.

In Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen, Kode Art Museums exhibits one of the world’s biggest Munch collections, including Jealousy, The Woman in Three Stages, and Evening on Karl Johan.

Explore Munch’s artworks
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    Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS

    How Munch inspires other artists

    Watch the videos below to see how Munch sparks creativity in Norwegian and foreign musicians. 

    The history of the brand new MUNCH

    A fascinating story behind Edvard Munch's greatest gift to the city of Oslo.

    Want even more art?

    From Norway’s history and traditions to art and artifacts – choose from a great selection of museums and galleries.

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