The Child and Death Edvard Munch Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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As a young boy aged six years, Edvard Munch was confronted with death; his biological mother passed away. His father, on the other hand, died later, in 1889. (Read more in his biography).

His father's death caused him much trouble. Since his mother's death, through his paintings, it is clear to see that Edvard Munch had to deal with many instances of fear and grief. As an older adult, he wrote about his traumatic years as a child trying to find his purpose in life. In his journal, Munch stated that his life was flooded with manacles of calamities such as death, grief, fear, etc. This kind of life had a strong, negative influence on his art, though he tried hard to get to the limelight. One of his paintings, The Child and Death, was his deepest testimonies of dealing with death and grief. In the drawing, you will see a small girl looking out of the picture with her hands covering the ears.

This is a traumatic moment for the young girl. The background depicts a picture of a dead mother; this is the young girl's mother. According to his work, it is easy to understand that Edvard Munch didn't deal with those who died, but the pain that the people left behind had to go through. The Girl's Pain is the primary theme of the painting, though we can always extract more. Instead of expressing the message in tears instead, the girl looks terrified, more profound than what tears can say. Munch has another painting that is closely related to this one; The Scream. A girl is holding her ears in the scream while letting out a scream; however, in The Child and Death, the girl cannot do anything, so she stands there, terrified.

In 2005, The Munch-Musset requested that the picture be examined closely. This made the picture to be regarded as a further painting by the artist. It depicts a naked girl that sits in a profile, and there are three threatening masks-like heads of men. It is believed that the painting has a close connection with Munch's subject of puberty. Painting a picture that speaks a million messages is never easy. But to Edvard munch, that was the simplest way to speak to the world. Currently, the Child and Death painting can be viewed in the Munch Museum, Oslo.