Once again my own questions about a simple painting post has led me down a path not anticipated. Because I found so many discrepancies and variations in paintings labelled ‘The Sun by Edvard Munch’, I decided to find out how many Munch Suns are out there. As usual, the more I read, the more I wanted to know. A few of my notes and sources follow.
WHO IS EDVARD MUNCH?
Edvard Munch (12 December 1863 – 23 January 1944) was a Norwegian painter and printmaker whose intensely evocative treatment of psychological themes built upon some of the main tenets of late 19th-century Symbolism and greatly influenced German Expressionism in the early 20th century.
Quote from https://en.wikipedia.org
WHY ARE THERE SO MANY SUN PAINTINGS?
In this digital story, Edvard Munch himself describes his thoughts, ideas and wishes during years of work with the decoration of the University Hall in Oslo. The sketches shown are now exhibited at the Munch Museum until 8 Jan 2012.Quote from Munch Museum, Oslo
In the cold days of March 1917, the leading German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949), visited Kristiania, as Oslo then was called. The painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) met him personally and describes their meeting in his memoirs. Strauss held a concert in the University Aula, which was newly decorated with Munch’s monumental paintings “The Sun”, “The History” and “Alma Mater”.Quote from Munch Museum, Oslo
DID YOU SEE HOW ENORMOUS THIS WALL MURAL IS?
Go to Klimt’s Kiss and Haydn’s Cello Concerto to see The Sun and Norwegian Chamber Orchestra in live performance
No wonder Strauss had such a reaction!
Now I understand why the internet is full of various versions of Munch’s Suns. Apparently he returned to this motif many times over a period of years, ultimately including a final enormous Sun as the centerpiece in the mural decorations of the festival hall of the University of Kristiania (Oslo) to celebrate its centennial in 1911.
VERSION 1 (not chronologically)
Illuminated by the sunrays are the water of the ocean, the bare rocks of a Northern landscape, and a slim strip of verdant green that separated land and sea. A clean, straight horizon line divides the waters from sky. The great sun is all-pervasive, shinning from the heavens upon land and sea, its rays reaching out to all eternity. Inhuman itself, it is the source of all life.
Click to view larger image Version 1
COMPARE TO ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SUN
Click for larger image Version 2:
Version 2 NOTES
The Sun. 1910–11. Via Munch Museum, Oslo
OTHER MUNCH SUNS:
Stay tuned for a follow-up post with four different versions of Munch’s Suns and a poll of your favorite.
Thanks for reading!
- Edvard Munch: Paintings, Biography, and Quotes Web accessed Ap.26, 2018, https://www.edvardmunch.org/
- Munch Museum Web access Ap 24, 2018, http://munchmuseet.no/#
- Wikipedia contributors. (2018, April 25). Edvard Munch. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:07, April 27, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Edvard_Munch&oldid=838266363
- Google Arts and Culture The Sun 1910-1911