While the obvious affinity between these two artists has been widely and repeatedly acknowledged in art history and art criticism since the late 19th century, never before have the underlying characteristics of the similarities between Van Gogh and Munch been fully addressed.
This exhibition in the Munch Museum sets out to do exactly that: to present these two world-famous artists in unison.
Together for the first time
MUNCH | VAN GOGH studies the essence of their art, their artistic ambitions, the development in their style and technique and the influences to which they were subjected. With over one hundred artworks – including various iconic masterpieces and special artworks which are rarely loaned out – the two artists are brought together on a large scale for the first time.
Both artists are known for their emotionally charged paintings and drawings, their personal and innovative style, and their lives full of hardship. They have frequently been seen as each others' counterparts, by the general public and art historians alike. Indeed, their oeuvres and artistic ambitions show striking parallels. They both strived for modernisation of the arts by depicting existential and universal themes in an expressive pictorial language.
Collaboration with the Van Gogh Museum
The exhibition is the result of a long-term collaborative project between the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Munch Museum in Oslo, and will consist of about 70 paintings and 30 works on paper.
Munch and Van Gogh will be equally and jointly represented, complemented by a dozen works by other artists to present the artistic context. For this purpose, a number of unique loans from various museums will be added to the core collections of both museums.