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Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen

Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen


This important publication accompanies a major exhibition at The Courtauld Gallery, London, of paintings by Edvard Munch, one of the world’s greatest modern artists. The exhibition and catalogue showcase 18 major works from the collection of KODE Art Museums in Bergen. The works span the most significant part of Munch’s artistic development and have never before been shown as a group outside of Scandinavia.


KODE houses one of the most important collections of paintings by Edvard Munch (1863–1944) in the world. The collection was assembled at the beginning of the 20th century by the Norwegian industrialist, mill owner and philanthropist Rasmus Meyer (1858–1916), who was one of the fi rst signifi cant early collectors of Munch’s work. Meyer knew Munch personally and was astute in acquiring major canvases by the artist that chart his artistic development.


Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen explores this group of remarkable works in detail and considers the important role of Rasmus Meyer as a collector. The exhibition and publication include seminal paintings from Munch’s early ‘realist’ phase of the 1880s, such as Morning (1884), which was made when the artist was just twenty years old, and Summer Night (1889), a pivotal work that shows the artist’s move towards the expressive and psychologically charged work for which he became famous. These paintings launched Munch’s career and set the stage for his renowned, highly expressive paintings of the 1890s when his compositions became powerful projections of his emotions and imaginative states. Such works are a major feature of the exhibition that includes

remarkable canvases from Munch’s famous ‘Frieze of Life’ series, such as Evening on Karl Johan (1892), Melancholy (1894-96) and At the Death Bed (1895). Through his ‘Frieze of Life’ works, Munch intended to address profound themes of human existence, from love to death. The artist used his own experiences as source material to make visceral depictions of the human psyche, which he hoped would help others understand their own life. Munch’s powerful use of colour and form to convey his subjects marked him out as one of the most radical painters at the turn of the 20th century.


This fully illustrated publication includes a catalogue of the works, with contributions by leading experts in their fi eld from KODE and The Courtauld.

  • May 2022

    Edited by Barnaby Wright

    With texts by Line Daatland, Caroline Levitt, Coralie Malissard and Frode Sandvik

    Paperback, 260 x 215 mm

    136 pages, 60 colour illus.

    ISBN: 978-1-913645-27-4

    e-ISBN: 978-1-914532-10-8

  • Exhibition

    Edvard Munch: Masterpieces from Bergen

    The Courtauld Gallery, London

    27 May – 5 September 2022

  • In the press

    ★★★★★ "the Scandinavian master wallows gloriously in pain, filling the soul with the ecstatic sorrow of his colours" —The Guardian


    "marvellous, fresh, moving" —The Financial Times


    ★★★★★ "a powerful revelation" —The Observer


    ★★★★ "an exhibition worth screaming from the rooftops about" —The Times


    ★★★★ "enthralling new show" —The Telegraph


    "superb exhibition"—The New Statesman


    ★★★★ "a small show that packs a punch"—The Evening Standard

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