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Edvard Munch
Quotations



"I do not paint what I see but what I saw."

"I was out walking with two friends - the sun began to set - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature. "
- On The Scream
 
"... I am convinced that there is hardIy a painter who drained his subject to the very last bitter drop as I did in The Sick Child. It was not only I myself sitting there - it was all my loved ones."
- on The Sick Child
 
"The fact is that at different times you see with different eyes. You see differently in the morning from in the evening. The way in which one sees also depends on one's mood... If, in the morning, you come from a dark bedroom into the living room, then you might see everything in a blue light. Even the deepest shadows have a light atmosphere above them. After a while you get used to the light and the shadows get deeper and you see more sharply. If you are to paint such an atmosphere ... you cannot merely sit and stare at everything and paint it 'as accurately as you see it'. You must paint it as it appeared when the motif seized you. "
 
"I do not paint what I see but what I saw."
 
"I lead my life in the company of the dead - my mother, my sister, my grandfather and my father - above all with him - all the memories - the smallest of details, return to me."
 
"When I cast off on the voyage of my life, I felt like a ship made from old rotten material sent out into a stormy sea by its maker with the words: If you are wrecked it is your own fault and then you will be burnt in the eternal fires of Hell."
- Summing up his life
 
"I have never had such an enjoyable time - incredible that something as innocent as painting can cause such a stir."
- On his exhibition being closed in Berlin, 1892
 
"One good picture with ten holes in it is better than ten bad pictures with no holes."
 
"We shall paint no more interiors with men reading or women knitting. They must be living beings who breathe, feel, suffer, and love. I shall paint a series of such paintings, and people will realize their religious nature and remove their hats before them, just as they do in church."
 
"The artist should depict his deepest emotions, his soul, his sorrows and joys...to move people intensely, first a few, then more and more."
 
"Was it because she took my first kiss, that she took away my life's breath? Was it that she lied--she deceived--that one day suddenly the scales fell from my eyes and I saw a Medusa's head and I saw life as a thing of terror. "
 
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