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This article considers the significance of the art critic William Ritter’s airing of a comparison between Munch and Velázquez in a lengthy text written in the wake of Munch’s major solo exhibition in Prague in 1905. In suggesting that Munch might be a “hospital Velazquez,” Ritter engaged the work of Julius Meier-Graefe and R.A.M. Stevenson, but offered an ambivalent view of the emerging histories of modern art.
Is Edvard Munch’s Alpha and Omega (1908–10) a fable of the past? Traditionally considered a work pointing backwards, to the 1890s, this article provides examples of how the text-image portfolio also can be read as a myth of the contemporary, deeply embedded in the 20th century. The close reading also shows how Munch explores central artistic ideas in writing that are not found elsewhere in his ouvre, suggesting the potential of a more independent approach to his texts.
In collaboration with photographer Ragnvald Væring, in 1938 Edvard Munch had himself photographed on the occasion of his 75th birthday. More than simple commemorations or visual documentation of his continuing life and health, the photographs – intended for publication – reveal Munch not as artist but as curator, concerned with the preservation of his art at a time when his work was removed from German museums and his position in history appeared threatened.
997 Munch paintings from Edvard Munch’s estate (The Ekely Collection) were examined to evaluate the ‘Kill-or-Cure’ theory; that Munch exposed paintings to the weather in order to change their appearance. The findings were related to written sources, photographs and Munch’s exhibition strategies. The conclusion is that Munch most likely did not use the weather as an artistic instrument, and that the condition of many of the paintings in The Ekely Collection is due to practical circumstances, poor storage, and the artist’s extraordinary negligence.
This article examines the surface of Edvard Munch’s Self Portrait (1895), one of the artist’s most emblematic images, proposing ways of thinking about the lines scratched into the blackness surrounding the artist’s head. Assuming that the surface is a place of negotiation among the artist, the material, and the viewer, it examines ways in which the almost invisible lines trouble the reading of the motif.