HumanitiesWeb.org - "Self-Portrait with a Burning Cigarette" by Edvard Munch [Selected Works]
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Self-Portrait with a Burning Cigarette

1895: National Gallery, Oslo

At thirty-two, when this portrait was done, Munch was at the height of his powers. He had by then completed some of his finest and most expressive canvases, and after years of struggle, critical and financial success lay before him. In this portrait he stands erect but his expression is tense as if haunted by emotional problems for which there seems no solution. The source of illumination which is in front and below him was intended to suggest the flames of hell.
 
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