Edvard Munch in Expressionism

Top 4 Facts About Edvard Munch 


  • Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter born in 1863. 🇳🇴


  • He played a big role in influencing the art movement Expressionism.


  • Munch had a sad childhood as many of his family died when he was young. This is why many of his paintings are painted with dark colours. Dark colours can sometimes show sadness and anger. 🖼


  • Munch was often ill as a child, so he had to stay at home. This is how he discovered art, as it gave him something to pass the time. 🎨



What is Expressionism?


Expressionist art tried to express emotion and symbols rather than reality. Paintings were often exaggerated or distorted and colours were chosen to represent a feeling. You can read about Expressionism here: https://online.art-k.co.uk/6-a-kids-guide-to-modern-art-movements/

©Edvard Munch

Workers on their Way Home. 1913–14.

Munch Museum, Oslo

What is His Work Like?


Munch’s artwork was often made as a response to his feelings about people he knew and places he went to. 


He felt very intense emotions, like anger and fear. So unlike some other artists, who just painted what they saw in front of them, Munch would try to paint how he felt when he looked at a person or a scene. 💭


This is called symbolism. Where you try to represent a feeling or message. 


For example, if you looked at a friend and thought they looked happy, instead of drawing a realistic portrait of your friend, you might instead use happy colours like yellow and pink and use big brushstrokes to try and express your friends happiness. 🌈


A lot of Munch’s work show us life and death, intense feelings like loneliness or sadness. The darker the colour, the sadder he was. 🎨



©Edvard Munch

Separation. 1896.

Munch Museum, Oslo

©Edvard Munch

The Sick Child, 1907



The Scream


The Scream is Munch’s most famous painting. It shows a person holding their hands to their face and screaming. 😱


The colour of the sky is a blood red. Red has many different meanings: love and hate are two examples. Here the red symbolises a more negative and anxious feelings. ❤️🖤


©Edvard Munch

The Scream. 1893.

Nasjonalgalleriet, Oslo

Where is his work now?


When Munch died, instead of leaving his artwork to friends or family, he donated it to the Norwegian government. 🇳🇴


The government were so pleased that they built an art museum especially for Munch to put all of his artwork in! It is called the Munch Museum of art. It was built to celebrate all of the work that he made in his lifetime! 🏫




Your Go!

Looking at the style of painting in Edvard Munch’s “The Scream,” try drawing your friend in this style using colours that make you feel happy!

If you have a go at doing this, we would love to see it! Email us a photo at admin@art-k.co.uk


What next?


Do you want to know what comes before Expressionism? Click here to read about Fauvism?



And click here for a book about Edvard Munch!