Becoming Edvard Munch
Influence, Anxiety, and Myth
Jay A. Clarke
Yale University Press, Londen, 2009
n this book, Jay A. Clarke demonstrates that Munch was thoroughly in control of his artistic identity, a savvy businessman skilled in responding to the market and shaping popular opinion. Moreover, the author shows that Munch was keenly aware of the art world of his day, adopting motifs, styles, and techniques from a wide variety of sources, including many Scandinavian artists. By presenting Munch’s paintings, prints, and drawings in relation to those of European contemporaries, including Harriet Backer, James Ensor, Vincent van Gogh, Max Klinger, Christian Krohg, and Claude Monet, Clarke reveals often surprising connections and influences. This interpretive approach, grounded in Munch’s diaries and letters, period criticism, and the artworks themselves, reintroduces Munch as an artist who cultivated myths both visual and personal.