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Munch: Symbolism and the Self

Professor Elizabeth Prelinger addresses some of Munch's self-portraits in the context of the work of other Symbolist artists.

Like Rembrandt and Picasso, the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch made self-portraits throughout his life. Through them he explored his subtlest and most nuanced psychological states as he was transformed from a bohemian rebel to an isolated old man passing his last years in Nazi-occupied Norway. For such a complicated and tormented personality, this was an especially challenging task. Feeling that traditional artistic methods could not capture the essence of his being, he turned to the simplified pictorial strategies pioneered by such contemporary Symbolist artists as Odilon Redon and Paul Gauguin, which sought to capture emotions, not to detail surface likenesses. Professor Elizabeth Prelinger, Georgetown University, Washington, addresses some of Munch's most powerful and mysterious self-portraits in the context of the work of other Symbolist artists, exploring how brilliantly he manipulated the media of painting and printmaking to emphasize what the heart experiences rather than what the eye perceives.


Professor Elizabeth Prelinger | talks


Date and Time:

21 October 2005 at 6:30 pm


1 hour



Royal Academy of Arts Education Department
Burlington House
020 7300 8000

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£14/£6 students (incl. exhibition entry and a drink); £10 (incl a drink)

Available from:

call 020 7300 5839 or fax 020 7300 8071. For information only, email events.lectures@royalacademy.org.uk or visit www.royalacademy.org.uk/eventsandlectures

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