Edvard Munch Quotes
Total quotes (20)
Total quotes (20)
My afflictions belong to me and my art - they have become one with me. Without illness and anxiety, I would have been a rudderless ship.. .My art is really a voluntary confession and an attempt to explain to myself my relationship with life - it is, therefore, actually a sort of egoism, but I am constantly hoping that through this I can help others achieve clarity.
One sunny spring day I heard the music coming down Karl Johan [street] and it filled me with joy. The spring, the sun, the music, all blended together to make me shiver with pleasure. The music added colour to the colours. I painted the picture allowing the colours to reverberate with the rhythm of the music. I painted the colours as I saw them at that moment.
Life here [in Paris, 1885] is quite different. You hardly ever see a dog on a lead; you come across little wagons being pulled by dogs that are often so small that you can’t imagine how on earth they manage to shift such enormous weights. You see shepherdesses in the middle of the street herding goats and sometimes playing on their flutes. I think I’ll go to the Louvre and the Salon today.
I was walking along a path with two friends — the sun was setting — suddenly the sky turned blood red — I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence — there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city — my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety — and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.
The point is that one sees things at different moments with different eyes. Differently in the morning then in the evening. The way in which one sees also depends on one's mood.. ..coming in from a dark bedroom in the morning into the sitting room one will, for example, see everything in a bluish light. Even the deepest shadows are topped with bright light. After a while one will accustom oneself to the light and the shadows will be deeper and everything will be seen more sharply. If an atmosphere of this kind is being painted it won't do merely to sit and gaze at everything 'just as one sees'. One must paint precisely the fleeting moment of significance – one must capture the exact experience separating that significant moment from the next – the exact moment when the motif struck one.. .In some circumstances a chair may seem to be just as interesting as a human being. In some way or another it must have caught the interest in which case the onlooker's interest must somehow be engaged in the same way. It's not the chair that should be painted, but what the person has felt at the sight of it
Nothing ceases to exist – there is no example of this in nature.. .There is an entire mass of things that cannot rationally explained. There are newborn thoughts that have not yet found form. How foolish to deny the existence of the soul. After all, that a life has begun, that cannot be denied. It is necessary to believe in immortality, insofar as it can be demonstrated that the atoms of life or the spirit of life must continue to exist after the body’s death. But of what does it exist, this characteristic of holding a body together, causing matter to change and develop, this spirit of life? I felt it as a sensual delight that I should become one with – become this earth which is forever radiated by the sun in such a constant ferment and which lives – lives – and which will grow plants from my decaying body – trees and flowers – and the sun will warm them and I will exist in them – and nothing will perish – and that is eternity.
And I live with the dead – my mother , my sister [Sophie], my grandfather, my father [who died in 1889, when Munch was in France].. .Every day is the same – my friends have stopped coming – their laughter disturbs me, tortures me.. ..my daily walk round the old castle becomes shorter and shorter, it tires me more and more to take walks. The fire in the fireplace is my only friend – the time I spend sitting in front of the fireplace gets longer and longer.. ..at its worst I lean my head against the fireplace overwhelmed by the sudden urge – Kill yourself and then it’s all over. Why live? I light the candle – my huge shadow springs across half the wall, clear up to the ceiling and in the mirror over the fireplace I see the face of my own ghost.
One evening I came to have a discussion with my father on the subject how long unbelievers are tormented in Hell. I maintained that no sinner could be so guilty that God would let him suffer longer than a thousand years. Father said that they would suffer for a thousand times a thousand years. We would not give up the argument. I became so irritated.. .I returned home to make my piece with him. He had gone to bed so I quietly opened his bedroom door. He was on his knees in front of the bed, praying.. .I closed the door and went to my own room but I could not get to sleep.. ..eventually I took out my drawing block and started to draw. I drew my father kneeling by his bed, with the light from the bedside lamp casting a yellow glow over his nightshirt. I fetched my paintbox and colored it in. Finally I achieved the right pictorial effect, and I was able to go to bed happy and slept soundly.
Realism's 'truth' as embodied in painting and literature now solely consists of things capable of being seen by the eye or heard by the ear. Realism is concerned only with the external shell of nature. People content with the discoveries they have made ignore the fact that there are other things to be discovered, even broader avenues to be explored. They have found bacteria, but not what they consist of.