Munch chronology

Self-Portrait. 1881, Oil on Board, 25.5x18.5cm, Munch Museum, Oslo


1863 Born, December 12 in Løten, Hedmark, to Dr. Christian Munch and wife Laura Catherine (Bjølstad).

1864 The family moves to Christiania (which became Kristiania in 1877, and then Oslo in 1925).

1865 Brother, Peter, is born.

1867 Sister, Laura, is born.

1868 Sister, Inger, is born.  Mother, Laura Catherine, dies of tuberculosis December 29.

1875 The family moves to Grunnerløkka, after Laura’s sister Karen Bjølstad, takes on duties of raising the children.

1877 Sister, Sophia, dies of tuberculosis at age 15.

1878 At the urging of Dr. Munch, Edvard enrolls in Technical College, studying mathematics and physics. Shows talent in the field of technical drawing.

1880 Leaves Technical College due to poor health; begins painting.

1881 Admitted to Tegneskole (Royal School of Art and Design) in Kristiania.  Studies sculpture under Julius Middlethun. 

1882 Rents studio with six other artists, supervised by Norwegian artist, Christian Krohg. First public exhibit at the Industries and Art Exhibition.  Takes part in   the organization of the first Høstutstilling, free of censorship.

1883 Attends Frits Thaulow’s Friluftsakademi at Modum. Exhibits Girl Kindling a Stove at the Open Air Academy’s Autumn Exhibition.


Girl Kindling a Stove. 1883, Oil on Canvas, 96.5x66cm, Private Collection


Landscape: Maridalen. 1881, Oil on Board, 22x27.5cm, Munch Museum, Oslo


1884 Exhibits Morning.  Receives small grant from Fritz Thaulow to study in Antwerp and Paris.

1885 Travels to Paris via Antwerp. Exhibits internationally for first time - Inger in Black - at World Exhibition in Antwerp. Visits the Salon and the Louvre in Paris. Becomes closely associated with Hans Jaeger and the Kristiania-Bohéme. Younger brother, Andreas, dies of pneumonia.

1886 Returns to Norway, exhibits at the Høstutstilling. Meets and begins affair with Millie Thaulow, wife of Carl Thaulow’s brother, Fritz. Begins writing auto-biographical journal, which serves as reference for majority of paintings in 1890s.

1887 Exhibits six works in the Autumn Exhibition.

1888 Exhibits small selection in Copenhagen.

1889 Spends summer at Åsgårdstrand on Kristiania Fjord (now Oslo Fjord). Holds large one-man exhibition at the Studentersamfund, Krisiania in April and May. Receives three-year study grant from Norwegian government. Returns to Paris in the fall to study with Léon Bonnat.

1890 Returns to Norway, relocating in St. Cloud.  Receives word of his father’s death. Exhibits in Autumn Exhibition.


Night in St. Cloud. 1890, Oil on Canvas, 64.5x54cm, Nasjonalgallereit, Oslo


1891 Creates drawings as illustrations for Alruner, a collection of poetry by Emanuel Goldstein. Also provides drawings for publication with (but not illustrations for) works of Norwegian poets Vilhelm Krag and Sigbjorn Obstfelder.

1892 Arrives in Berlin in autumn, invited by the Verein Berline Kunstler to exhibit. Due to public outrage at the content, exhibition is closed after one week by members of the Verein.

1893 Exhibits in Copenhagen, Breslau, Dresden, and Munich. Exhibits at Unter den Linden in Berlin, showing paintings from the “Love” series, which eventually becomes part of the Frieze of Life. Meets August Strindberg.

1894 Sister, Laura, hospitalized for schizophrenia. Exhibits in Stockholm for the Art Association.  Begins making prints in order to create sales to larger audiences. Also for financial reasons, learns to make drypoints.


Two Lonely People. 1895, Drypoint, 16.83 x 22.86 cm, Minneapolis Museum of Art


1895 Experiments with graphic design, including etching and lithography; produces first colour lithographs and woodcuts.  Julius Meier-Graefe releases portfolio of eight engravings. Exhibits at Ugo Barroccio Gallery. Press calls for a boycott of exhibition at Bloomquist’s Galleryin Kristiania. In October, brother, Andreas, dies of pneumonia.


Death Room. 1896, Lithograph, 44x60.96cm, Minneapolis Institute of Arts


Anxiety. 1896, Woodcut, 45.88x37.15cm, Minnespolis Museum of Arts

1896 Moves to Paris. Collaborates with Auguste Clot on woodcuts. Exhibits paintings at Bing's Salon de l'Art Nouveau. Produces Lithograph of The Sick   Child and woodcut of The Kiss.

1897 Produces posters for Ibsen's Peer Gynt and John Gabriel Borkman. Exhibits works at the Salon Indépendants, including some from The Frieze of Life. Buys house in Åsgårdstrand.

1898 Travels to Copenhagen, Berlin, and Paris. Meets and begins a relationship with Tulla Larsen. Suffers from poor health. Illustrates Strindberg's article in Quickborn, a journal.

1899 Travels to Berlin, Paris, Italy, and Norway. Enters a sanatorium in   Gudbrandsdalen, Norway.

1900 Attempts to end relationship with Larsen. Enters a sanatorium in Switzerland. Exhibits at Arno Wolfframm's gallery with favorable reviews.

1902 Exhibits The Frieze of Life in its entirety at Berlin Secession. Spends summer in Åsgårdstrand. Argument with Tulla Larsen ends relationship and results in a   gunshot wound to left hand, leaving permanent injury. 

1903 Divides time between Paris and Germany. Receives state grant from Germany. Exhibits in Kristiania, Berlin, Hamburg, and Vienna.

1904 Shows five paintings at the Salon Indépendents.  Joins Berlin Secession. Is commissioned for paintings by German collector Max Linde for paintings. Exhibits one-man show in Copenhagen.

1905 Mental and physical health worsens, alcohol consumption increases.. Exhibits in Prague at the Manes Art Association, to much success.

1906 Travels to Weimar, Berlin, and Jena.  Works on scenery for a production of Henrik Ibsen's plays Ghosts and Hedda Gabler.

1907 -  Works on the interior of Max Reinhardt's Kammerspiel Theatre.

1908 Suffers complete nervous breakdown and spends eight months at Dr. Jacobson's clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. Exhibits in Germany, Demark, and Sweden. Receives the Royal Order of St. Olaf.

1909 Returns to Norway, renting an isolated estate in Kragerø on Norway’s southern coast. Enters competition to create wall paintings in University Aula in Kristiania.

1910 Begins work on Oslo University murals, including History, The Sun, Alma Mater,  and Workers in the Snow.

1912 Invited by the Sonderbund of Dusseldorf to exhibit in Cologne. Wins Oslo commission.  Meets Curt Glaser.

1913 Celebrates 50th birthday. Resigns from Berlin Secession. Exhibits at Autmun Exhibition with Picasso. Exhibits graphic works in New York. Travels throughout Europe and London.

1914 World War I begins.  


Winter Landscape. 1915, Oil on Canvas, Albertina Viena, Batliner Collection


1915 Exhibits graphic works at the San Francisco Panama-Pacific International exhibition.

1916 Buys home in Ekely. Oslo University murals are installed.

1917 Curt Glaser publishes Edvard Munch, a biography, in Berlin.

1918 Publishes brochure to accompany The Frieze of Life exhibition at Blomquist's.

1919 Exhibits graphic works in New York.

1920-1922 Travels through Germany and Paris.  Receives commission to paint murals for the Freia Chocolate Factory in Kristiania.

1923 Observes 60th birthday. Becomes member of German Academy of Fine Art.


Self-Portrait: Night Wanderer. 1923-1924, Oil on Canvas, 90x68cm, Munch Museet, Oslo


1925 Kristiania is renamed Oslo.

1926 Exhibits at the Carnegie International Exhibition in Pittsburgh, PA. Sister, Laura, dies.

1927 Major exhibitions at the National Galleries in Berlin and Oslo.

1928 Exhibits in San Francisco, London, and Munich.  Begins work on design for Oslo Town Hall murals.

1929 Builds winter studio at Ekely. Exhibits graphic art in Stockholm.
1930 Suffers deterioration of vision. Dabbles in photographic self-portraits.

1931 Aunt, Karen Bjølstad, dies.

1933 Hitler takes power. Celebrates 70th birthday. Blood vessel in right eye bursts, causing near total loss of vision in that eye. Awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olaf.

1934 August Strindberg portrait is presented to National Museum in Stockholm.

1937 Entartete Kunst ("degenerate art"), which includes 82 of Munch's works, are confiscated throughout Germany by Nazis.

1940-1941 Germany invades Norway. Munch draws up will, bequeathing all his works to the city of Oslo.


Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed. 1940-1943, Oil on Canvas, 149.5x120.5cm, Munch Museet, Oslo


1943 December 12, Munch celebrates 80th birthday.

1944 January 23, Munch dies in Oslo.

1963 Munch Museum opened in Oslo.


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