White Night

  • Artist: Edvard Munch
  • Creation date: Påbegynt 1900, avsluttet 1901
  • Object type: Painting

Not on display

Artist/producer

Edvard Munch

Visual artist, Painter, Graphic artist, Photographer, Drawing artist

Born 12.12.1863 in Løten, Hedmark, death 23.01.1944 in Oslo

Edvard Munch worked as an artist for over sixty years. He was creative, ambitious and hardworking. He produced nearly two thousand paintings, hundreds of graphic motifs and thousands of drawings. In addition, he wrote poems, prose and diaries. The Scream, Madonna, Death in the Sickroom and the other symbolist works from the 1890s have made him one of the most famous artists of our time.

"Don't become an artist!"

Edvard wanted to become an artist early on, and there was no doubt that he had talent. But his father refused to allow him to follow his dream, so Edvard began studying engineering. But already after one year he chose to defy his father, and switched from engineering college to the Norwegian National Academy of Craft and Art Industry in Kristiania, now Oslo.

A talented and provocative bohemian

It was obvious to everyone in the Norwegian art community that the young man showed rare talent. In 1883, at the age of 20, he debuted at Høstutstillingen (The Autumn Exhibition). In 1886, Munch became acquainted with author and anarchist Hans Jæger, a leading figure in the Kristiania bohemian community. The bohemian community convinced Munch that the arts had to renew themselves to reach people and to have relevance in their lives. In the same year he exhibited the painting The Sick Child. This generated debate!

Courage led to breakthrough

Some acclaimed The Sick Child a work of genius, while others deemed it unfinished and unworthy of exhibition. Today it is considered to mark Munch's breakthrough. It was here that demonstrated the independence and willingness to break fresh ground.

From this point until his final brush strokes, his artistic practice can be summed up in just word: experimentation. Munch did not care about established "rules" for so-called good art. His techniques in both painting and graphics were innovative.

From people's emotional life to agriculture and landscape

Henrik Ibsen's plays about humanity's existential challenges inspired Munch. Themes such as death, love, sexuality, jealousy and anxiety were central to his early images. Some themes sprang from personal experience. For example, Death in the Sickroom and The Sick Child are linked to his memory of his mother and sister's illnesses and early deaths.

After 1910, Munch chose a quieter and secluded life. At his own farms at Ekely in Oslo and in Hvitsten, he found entirely new motifs, such as agriculture, working life and landscapes. Man in the Cabbage Field is a typical example from this period.

Work info

Creation date:
Påbegynt 1900, avsluttet 1901
Other titles:
Hvit natt (NOR)
Object type:
Materials and techniques:
Olje på lerret
Material:
Dimensions:
  • Width: 111 cm
  • Height: 115.5 cm
Keywords:
Classification:
Motif:
Motif - type:
Acquisition:
Purchased 1901
Inventory no.:
NG.M.00581
Part of exhibition:
Edvard Munch. Peintures, oeuvre gravé, 1952
Edvard Munch, 1952
Munch exhibition, 1981
MUNCH! Nietzsche, Thiel och Nordens störste konstnär, 2013
The mystic north. Symbolist landscape painting in northern Europe and north America 1890-1940, 1984
Edvard Munch. Symbols & Images, 1978 - 1979
Livets dans. Samlingen fra antikken til 1950, 2011 - 2019
Munch exhibition, 1982
Exhibition, 1942
Edvard Munch, 1951
Edvard Munch, 1951
Exhibition, 2001 - 2002
Naturens speil. Nordisk landskapsmaleri 1840-1910, 2007
Munch exhibition, 1982
Edvard Munch: An Exhibition of Paintings, Etchings, Litographs, 1952
Edvard Munch: An Exhibition of Paintings, Etchings, Litographs, 1951
Luz del Norte / Llum del nord, 1995
Expressive!, 2003
Edvard Munch, 1958
Munch exhibition, 1982
Edvard Munchs Maleriudstilling, 1901
Edvard Munch, 1950
Gli Impressionisti e la neuve: La Francia e l'Europa, 2004 - 2005
Edvard Munch. Sommernacht an Oslofjord um 1900, 1988
[Malerier og grafikk av Edvard Munch], 1982
Munch exhibition, 1981
Winterland, 1993
Edvard Munch, 1950
Edvard Munch, 1951
Munch and Expressionism, 2016
Det magiske nord. Finsk og norsk kunst rundt 1900, 2015
Les sources du XXe siècle. Les arts en Europe 1884 à1914, 1960 - 1961
Edvard Munch. Wiener Festwochen, 1959
Munch 150, 2013
The mystic north. Symbolist landscape painting in northern Europe and north America 1890-1940, 1984
Edvard Munch: An Exhibition of Paintings, Etchings, Litographs, 1951
Edvard Munch, 1927
Edvard Munch, 1950
Edvard Munch, 1950
Edvard Munch, 1950
Edvard Munch, 1951
Luz del Norte / Llum del nord, 1995
Landschaft als Kosmos der Seele. Malerei des nordischen Symbolismus bis Munch, 1998
Winterland, 1993 - 1994
Naturens spegel. Nordiskt landskapsmåleri 1840-1910, 2006 - 2007
Edvard Munch: An Exhibition of Paintings, Etchings, Litographs, 1951 - 1952
Edvard Munch: An Exhibition of Paintings, Etchings, Litographs, 1951
Edvard Munch, 1958 - 1959
The masterworks of Edvard Munch, 1979
Det magiske nord. Finsk og norsk kunst rundt 1900 (Hovedtittel/ anvendt/ Norsk), 2015
Naturens spegel. Nordiskt landskapsmåleri 1840-1910, 2006
A Mirror of Nature. Nordic Landscape Painting 1840-1910, 2007
[Malerier og grafikk av Edvard Munch], 1982
Ausstellung Nordischer Kunst, 1929
Cataloguing level:
Single object
Owner and collection:
Nasjonalmuseet for kunst, arkitektur og design, The Fine Art Collections
Photo:
Høstland, Børre