Munch, The Sick Child

Edvard Munch, Norwegian painter and print maker 1863–1944, is perhaps my most favorite artist.His psychological themes are built on Symbolism but his work is also influenced by Expressionism. He grew up during a time when Tuberculosis, also called Consumption or the White Death was rampant in Europe and North America. See more below.

Munch, The Sick Child,1886, shows the influence of Manet on Munch in the earlier period of his career.


By the late 19th century, 70 to 90% of the urban populations of Europe and North America were infected with the TB bacillus, and about 80% of those individuals who developed active tuberculosis died of it. Tuberculosis killed 100,000 people each year in North America alone in the early 1900s. The disease killed Munch’s mother when Munch was five, his favorite sister, and the wife of Edgar Allan Poe, whose stories Munch grew up with and which were an early influence on him in addition to his family’s poverty, history of tuberculosis, and family history of insanity.

About kinneret

Hello, and welcome. I'm writing this blog under an alias. Why an alias? I started to write what may be described as an "American Gothic" novel (sort of Henry James/ Franz Kafka with violence) with some autobiographical details. ..when I started this blog I just decided to use the alias. This blog is about art and art history, but my interests also include literature, film analysis, psychology, forensic psychology, faerie tale analysis, cognitive therapy, cognitive linguistics, classical theater, World War II, and Russian and British history. My favorite writers include Kafka, the Brontes, and Philip K Dick. Thank you for reading this blog and I will happily reply to any comments.
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10 Responses to Munch, The Sick Child

  1. fatiha says:

    i felt that there is a little bit of Impressionnisme in this painting, especially the notion of time that is manifested by the candle a little sidelined .

    • kinneret says:

      Yes, there was some influence of impressionism early on. Manet is supposed to have himself been a bridge between Realism and Impressionism and invented the “alla prima” technique (wet on wet), a fast way of working rather than building up layers of paint and undersketch underneath and leaving them to dry. I’m trying to understand why critics compared Munch’s early work to Manet in particular. Here I do see a lot of painted lines, which looks different from many of his works that are smoother and of course the print blockmaking in block shapes.

  2. Beautiful and instructive. Thank you.

  3. I love both Manet and Munch. I didn’t know about Manet’s influence on Munch’s painting though. And I certainly didn’t know his sister was married to Poe (whom I absolutely adore). She must be Annabel Lee then who died of tuberculosis.

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