British Museum to host largest Edvard Munch display for more than a decade

The Norwegian artist's well-known works include The Scream.

A rare version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream will go on display at the British Museum for the first time in a decade.

The harrowing image will be included in a major exhibition titled Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, which the Museum says is the largest display of Munch’s prints in the UK for 45 years.

The Norwegian artist’s work has been hailed as “one of the most iconic images in art history” by the director of the British Museum.

Edvard Munch: Love and Angst exhibition
A staff member at the British Museum in London holds ‘Melancholy III’ (1902) by Edvard Munch ahead of a major exhibition on the artist’s work

Munch made several versions of The Scream, which shares the psychological strain and raw emotion of the 20th century master’s work.

More than 80 pieces will go on display in April, the museum announced.

Giulia Bartrum, curator of the upcoming exhibition said: “Munch’s work was to do with the inner workings of the human mind. That was what he was trying to express in his work and that has huge resonance today.

“He was also a European, he was really cosmopolitan. That is a fantastic message to convey.”

“We hope to lift the veil on the deeply personal and emotional artworks of the man behind The Scream.”

Munch, living from 1863 to 1944, lost his mother and favourite sister in childhood, and suffered psychological crises verging on madness during his lifetime, which saw the birth of modernity and modern anxieties.

He strove to produce “soul art” and reflect the deepest and darkest feelings of humanity.

Edvard Munch: Love and Angst exhibition
‘Self-Portrait’ (1895) among works by Edvard Munch at the British Museum

The new exhibition includes prints ranging from the fearful to the shockingly erotic – he had numerous love affairs – many of which have never been seen in the UK before.

The exhibition will also include an x-ray of the artist’s hand with a bullet lodged in it, an injury sustained in an argument with a lover.

Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, said: “This survey of Munch’s pioneering art will allow visitors to see why he is considered one of the greatest artists of all time.”

Munch initially made his name, and income, from printmaking.

He experimented with the form throughout his life, and produced a print of The Scream following his famed paintings.

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