Edvard Munch A Poem of Life, Love and Death

Christophe Leribault, Claire Bernardi, Øystein Ustvedt, Pierre Wat, Trine Otte Bak Nielsen, Ingrid Junillon, Patricia G. Berman, Hilde Bøe

An authoritative new publication that revisits Edvard Munch’s work in its entirety.

Edvard Munch occupies a pivotal place in artistic modernity. His work is permeated by a singular vision of the world, with a powerful symbolist dimension that goes beyond the masterpieces he created in the 1890s. For Munch, humanity and nature were united in the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, which is reflected in the recurrence of certain motifs and color combinations in his work. He wrote: “These paintings, which are, admittedly, relatively difficult to understand, will be...easier to grasp if they are integrated into a whole.”

Published to accompany a major exhibition at the Musée d’Orsay, Edvard Munch: A Poem of Life, Love and Death presents about a hundred works—paintings, drawings, prints, and engraved blocks—reflecting the diversity of Munch’s practice. Seven essays explore the artist in his philosophical and scientific milieu and the places that shaped the man and his art, as well as offering a rare glimpse of Munch’s attempts at creative writing. They also examine the historical evolution of his monumental Frieze of Life series and the world-famous Scream. This publication invites readers to revisit the painter’s work in its entirety by following the thread of an ever-inventive pictorial thinking: a vision that is both fundamentally coherent, even obsessive, and at the same time constantly renewed.


Christophe Leribault

Foreword By

Christophe Leribault is director of the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

Claire Bernardi


Claire Bernardi is head of the Musée de l'Orangerie, Paris.

Øystein Ustvedt


Øystein Ustvedt has published widely on Munch, including Edvard Munch: An Inner Life.

Pierre Wat


Pierre Wat is professor of art history at the University of Paris.

Trine Otte Bak Nielsen


Trine Otte Bak Nielsen is a curator at the Munch Museum, Oslo.

Ingrid Junillon


Ingrid Junillon is director of the exhibitions department at the Fabre Museum, Montpellier.

Patricia G. Berman


Patricia G. Berman is the Theodora L. and Stanley H. Feldberg professor of art at Wellesley College.

Hilde Bøe


Hilde Bøe is digital collection manager at the Munch Museum.