Paintings like "the Scream " and " Madonna " has made Edvard Munch to one of the world's most famous painters. To begin with, his paintings where intensely criticized for their rawness, formlessness and their unfinished looks.
Munch's participation in an exhibition in Berlin caused great disturbance and was closed after one week.
Munch found the subjects for his paintings mainly from his own home and from Christiania Bohemians, a group of radical artists and intellectuals.
Munch's own experiences gave substance to his art. He experienced death already as a little boy. His mother, Laura Munch, died when he was five years old, and nine years later he lost his sister Sophie. Before Edvard turned 25 his father, Christian Munch died, and a few years later he lost his brother as well. Munch himself suffered from nerve problems for long periods of his life.
As early as 19 years old Munch became a part of the bohemian environment, and Christian Krohg was the painter that influenced him themost these first years.
Christiania Bohemians were naturalists, and Munch was influenced in this direction. Later he broke with naturalism. He wanted to paint life of the spirit and soul, and he wanted to paint reality as he saw it, not as it actually was.
1886 was Munch's breakthrough. He painted "The Sick Child ", "Puberty" and "The Day After". These three paintings have then been left standing as his major works. Some years later he had a small group of supporters and "The Scream" became his breakthrough in to expressionism.
Munch’s decoration of the University Hall in Oslo is one of the foremost examples of Norwegian monumental art. He wanted to do more public contracts, but did not get the approval for this. Still he handed downhis paintings as a gift to Oslo city in his last will. This was the beginning of the Munch Museum at Toyen.
Munch never established his own family. When he spoke of "his children", it was his paintings he referred to. He hated to be separated with them, and if he had to sell one, he often made a copy to keep for himself.
The bust on the tomb is made by Arne Durban.