Edvard Munch’s gaze; behind the mask of a so called misogynist
Written by Silje Løvstad in 2018.
After his death in 1944 Edvard Munch left a significant trace in society with his artwork and to this day there are still questions to be asked about the artist. With more knowledge we are able to create a new perspective of known artists, and the term misogynist has become a relevant discussion point while talking about key figures in the development of modern art (Henrichsen 2018: 6). The female characters in Munch’s paintings are something that has fascinated the public, and by going in depth to Munch’s life I propose that this will create an understanding of whether he was a misogynist or not; particularly his relationships, the role women had in the early 1900s and his well-being. I will examine Rolf E. Stenersen’s book ‘Nærbilde av et geni’, a close friend of Munch ́s, and the book created by The National Gallery in London, ’The Frieze of Life’, a collection of what he stated as his most important paintings, as well as 'Like a Ghost I Leave You’, which contains his personal letters and poems. In this dissertation I focus on the painting Vampire, and by reading into this art piece I am suggesting that Munch was misunderstood and was not a misogynist, considering how the public saw his paintings compared to how Munch himself saw them.
Key words: Munch, Misogynist, Well-being, Rolf E. Stenersen, Vampire.