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1863
  • Born on December 12 near Løten, Hedmark County, Norway

1864
  • Family moves to Kristiania (renamed Oslo in 1924), where his father, Christian, continues to work as an army doctor

1868
  • Mother, Laura Cathrine, dies of tuberculosis; her sister, Karen Bjølstad, assumes management of the household

1875
  • Leaves the Cathedral School due to illness and starts home schooling; also begins to visit the Kristiania Art Association and its exhibitions

1877
  • Older sister Sophie dies of tuberculosis at age 15

1879–81
  • Trains as an architect at the Royal Technical College before he decides to become a painter and enrolls in the Royal School of Design

1882
  • Rents space in the Pultosten building, which also housed the studios of progressive artists Christian Krohg, Frits Thaulow, and Erik Werenskiold. His work is supervised and corrected by Krohg
  • First Autumn Exhibition organized in opposition to the conservatism of the Kristiania Art Association

1883
  • Attends painter Frits Thaulow’s Open-Air Academy in Modum
  • Shows his first painting at the Autumn Exhibition, Kristiania

1884
  • Begins to associate with Kristiania’s bohemian community, which includes the avant-garde of Norway’s naturalistic artists and writers
  • Spends the month of September at Modum
  • Awarded the Schäffer Bequest Fund but is too ill to travel to Paris

1885
  • In May, travels to Paris via Antwerp, where he shows in the Norwegian section of the World’s Fair
  • Stays in Paris for three weeks, studying at the Musée du Louvre and visiting exhibitions
  • Meets the married Milly Thaulow, with whom he begins an affair
  • Hans Jaeger publishes the scandalous From the Kristiania Bohemians

1886
  • Moves closer to the Kristiania bohemians and their leader, Jaeger
  • Exhibits four paintings in the Autumn Exhibition, including The Sick Child, which rouses a storm of controversy
  • The Fleskum Summer: Norwegian artists, including Eilif Peterssen and Erik Werenskiold, gather at a farm in Bærum, exploring the potential of blue mood painting

1888
  • Shows three works at the Nordic Exhibition of Industry, Agriculture, and Art in Copenhagen and visits its large-scale display of modern French art

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1889
  • Holds first solo exhibition in Kristiania, for which he charges an entrance fee
  • Spends the summer in a rented cottage in Åsgårdstrand
  • Receives state scholarship and travels to Paris in October; studies at the atelier of Léon Bonnat and meets the circle of avant-garde painters around Theo van Gogh
  • Returns to Norway in November, following the death of his father
  • Moves back to Paris in early December; soon relocates to suburban St. Cloud
  • Forms an intense friendship with the Danish poet Emanuel Goldstein

1890
  • Writes the “St. Cloud Manifesto”, his artistic credo
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand and Kristiania
  • Exhibits three paintings in the Autumn Exhibition, Kristiania
  • Receives a second state scholarship and returns to France in November, staying at Le Havre due to illness

1891
  • Leaves Le Havre early in the year for Nice, traveling to Paris at the end of April
  • Returns to Norway via Antwerp at the end of May, spending the summer in Åsgårdstrand
  • Exhibits three paintings in the Autumn Exhibition, Kristiania
  • Receives third state scholarship
  • In autumn, returns via Copenhagen to Paris
  • Travels to Nice in December

1892
  • Leaves Nice at the beginning of April, traveling to Norway with a short stop in Paris
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand and Kristiania
  • Second solo exhibition at the Tostrup Building, Kristiania, prompts an invitation to show in Berlin
  • In November, solo exhibition opens at the Verein Berliner Künstler; closed a week later following a debate and vote by members of the Artists’ Association. Exhibits his own version of the Verein show over the course of a year in Düsseldorf, Cologne, again in Berlin, Breslau, Dresden, and Munich
  • In Berlin, frequents the bohemian Black Piglet Café with friends Dagny Juel, Stanislaw Przybyszewski, and August Strindberg

1893
  • Based in Berlin
  • Exhibits in Copenhagen in February and March; while there, he may have seen the Free Exhibition, which showed major works by Gauguin and Van Gogh
  • Spends September and October in Norway
  • The Frieze of Life begins to take shape

1894
  • Based in Kristiania
  • The Work of Edvard Munch: Four Contributions, edited by Stanislaw Przybyszewski, is published in Berlin
  • Spends September in Stockholm for his first Swedish exhibition, which later travels to Berlin
  • Produces his first intaglio prints

1895
  • Exhibits with the Finnish artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela at the Ugo Barroccio Gallery, Berlin
  • Julius Meier-Graefe publishes a portfolio of eight intaglio prints by Munch
  • Summers in Nordstrand and Åsgårdstrand
  • Large exhibition at the Blomqvist Gallery, Kristiania, culminates in a public debate on Munch’s sanity
  • Brother Andreas dies

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1896
  • Exhibits at the Salon des Indépendants
  • Stages a solo exhibit at Siegfried Bing’s Salon de l’Art Nouveau, Paris
  • Spends August at the Belgian resort of Knocke-sur-Mer
  • Back in Paris, where he creates decorations for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and illustrations for Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil, and creates his first color lithographs and woodcuts
  • In July, paints the decorative panel Mermaid for Axel Heiberg’s home in Lysaker, near Kristiania

1897
  • In March, travels to Brussels, where he participates in an exhibition at the artistic society La Libre Esthétique
  • Travels back to Paris in April, where he shows work in the Salon des Indépendants
  • Returns to Norway in June, and in July buys his own house in Åsgårdstrand
  • In September, opens a major retrospective exhibition at Dioramalokalet, Kristiania

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1898
  • Spends March and April in Berlin; in May, returns to Paris, where he participates at the Salon des Indépendants
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand
  • Meets Tulla Larsen, with whom he begins a tumultuous relationship
  • Travels extensively throughout Europe, pursued by Larsen

1899
  • In January, illustrates a special issue of the journal Quickborn containing text by Strindberg
  • In April, journeys to Florence via Berlin, Paris, and Nice, spending May in Rome
  • Summers in Nordstrand and Åsgårdstrand
  • During the fall and winter, retreats to the sanatorium at Kornhaug, in the Gudbrandsdalen region of Norway

1900
  • In March, travels back to Berlin, then to Paris, Dresden, Italy, and Switzerland, continuing and finally seeking to end his entanglement with Larsen
  • Returns to Norway alone in November, settling in Nordstrand

1901
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand
  • In October, exhibits 106 works at the Hollaendergården in Kristiania, returning to Berlin in November

1902
  • Spends the winter and spring in Berlin, where he shows the complete Frieze of Life at the Berlin Secession; the exhibition is expanded to include prints and travels to Leipzig the following year
  • Introduced to the Lübeck physician Max Linde, who writes a book on his art and commissions him to produce the print portfolio From Max Linde’s House
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand
  • Is shot in the left hand as he attempts to terminate his liaison with Tulla Larsen
  • Introduced to the Hamburg collector and lawyer Gustav Schiefler, who starts working on a catalogue of all his prints

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1903
  • Winters in Berlin and returns to Paris in March; there, he joins the Société des Artistes Indépendants
  • Meets the English violinist Eva Mudocci, who becomes a close friend and muse
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand
  • Spends April and September in Lübeck, painting portraits of Linde and his four sons

1904
  • Winters in Berlin; exhibits twenty paintings at the Vienna Secession
  • Travels to Paris in February for the Salon des Indépendents
  • Signs exclusive contracts with the Hamburg dealer Commeter for the sale of his paintings, and with the publisher Bruno Cassirer for the German sale of his graphic work
  • Stays in Weimar from the beginning of March into April, painting a portrait of his friend and patron Harry Kessler and a posthumous portrait of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Summers in Åsgårdstrand
  • Commissioned to paint a frieze (ultimately rejected) for the nursery in Linde’s house

1905
  • During February and March, stages successful exhibition in Prague at the invitation of the Secessionist Mánes group
  • Returns to Åsgårdstrand in June but departs in July, spending the fall in Denmark and Germany
  • In November, takes the cure at spas in the Thüringen area of Germany, trying to overcome his anxiety and alcoholism

1906
  • Stays in Thüringen until summer, when he travels to Berlin, Weimar, and Jena, executing portrait commissions and creating design sketches for theater impresario Max Reinhardt’s production of Ibsen’s Ghosts
  • Retreats to Thüringen in November

1907
  • Winters in Berlin, where he works on new decorations for Max Reinhardt’s theater
  • In April, travels to Stockholm, where the Swedish collector Ernst Thiel buys many paintings
  • Terminates contracts with Commeter and Cassirer
  • Stays for the summer and fall in Warnemünde, a German resort on the Baltic Sea

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1908
  • Winters in Berlin; returns to Warnemünde in March, remaining through the summer
  • Longtime supporter Jens Thiis, now director of Norway’s National Gallery, purchases Munch’s work for the museum, as does Rasmus Meyer, an important collector from Bergen
  • Travels to Copenhagen in the autumn; there, admits himself to Dr. Daniel Jacobson’s clinic, where he remains for eight months, all the while orchestrating exhibitions in Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Sweden
  • Receives Norway’s Royal Order of Saint Olav

1909
  • Resides at Jacobson’s clinic during the winter and spring
  • Returns to Norway in May, settling in Kragerø
  • Begins design work on decorations for the University of Kristiania Festival Hall, known as the Aula

1910
  • Seeking more room to work and store his paintings, buys the Nedre Ramme estate at Hvitsten, where he continues to work on the Aula decorations

1911
  • Resides at Hvitsten for most of the year, spending the fall and winter in Kragerø
  • Wins the Aula competition

1912
  • Accorded a place of honor at the seminal Sonderbund exhibition in Cologne, which focused on the work of Expressionists and their predecessors

1913
  • Spends fall in his homes at Kragerø, Hvitsten, and the newly rented Grimsröd Manor in Jeløya

1914
  • In winter, journeys to Paris and Berlin
  • In May, the University of Kristiania accepts the Aula decorations after years of discussions and conflicts
  • Summers in Kragerø and Hvitsten

1915
  • Begins to curtail his travel due to the events of World War I but gives financial aid to German artists

1916
  • Buys a small estate at Ekely, near Kristiania, where he spends most of his time up to his death
  • The Aula decorations are unveiled

1918
  • Stages an exhibition at Blomqvist in Kristiania, where he revisits The Frieze of Life and publishes a pamphlet defending his work and taking Norwegian critics to task for their early neglect

1922
  • Paints murals for the workers’ dining room at the Freia Chocolate Factory, Kristiania
  • Travels to Germany and Switzerland

1926
  • Sister Laura dies

1927
  • Travels to Germany, Italy, and France
  • Large retrospective exhibitions at the Nationalgalerie, Berlin, and the National Gallery, Oslo

1928
  • Works on a proposal for murals to decorate Oslo’s town hall

1931
  • Aunt Karen dies

1933
  • Receives the Grand Cross of the Order of Saint Olav
  • Pola Gauguin and Jens Thiis publish the first biographies of Munch in Norwegian

EkelyHome7.jpg
1937
  • Eighty-two works by Munch in German museums are considered “degenerate art” and sold by the Nazis; Norwegian dealers and collectors attempt to keep these and other confiscated works in Norway

1940
  • Norway and Denmark are occupied by German invaders, with whom Munch refuses any contact

1944
  • Dies peacefully in his home at Ekely on January 23
  • Bequeaths his remaining works to the city of Oslo; these include 1,000 paintings, 15,400 prints, 4,500 watercolors and drawings, 6 sculptures, 92 sketchbooks, and thousands of letters and manuscripts


Laura Cathrine Munch and her five children, 1868. Clockwise, from top right: Edvard, Laura, Andreas, Sophie, and baby Inger. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Studio of Léon Bonnat, Paris, March 1890. Munch began his studies with Bonnat the previous autumn. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Munch’s panel Mermaid installed in collector Axel Heiberg’s home in Lysaker, near Kristiania. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Munch and Tulla Larsen, 1899. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Munch’s studio at Lützowstrasse 82, Berlin, 1902. Visible to the left of the door is Girls on the Pier. Munch Museum, Oslo.
One of the many photographic self-portraits Munch took in Dr. Daniel Jacobson’s clinic, Copenhagen, 1908. The artist displays his left hand prominently, which was damaged when he tussled over a pistol with a rebuffed lover and part of his finger was shot off. Munch Museum, Oslo.
Munch in his home at Ekely, 1943. Munch Museum, Oslo.