“The Scream” is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world. Now, the Munch Museum in Oslo has collected all Edvard Munch’s drawings on an online gallery accessed freely by all. There are about 7,500 works, including notebooks with drawings from his childhood, studies of tools, coins and keys. There are also water colours of city buildings by the Norwegian Symbolist.
“The fact that the large number of works made it practically impossible to publish them on paper and made an online publication an obvious choice, allows us to acquaint a much larger public with Munch’s work”, explained Magne Bruteig, head curator of Engravings and Drawings at the Munch Museum, Oslo.
“Apart from this being an attraction for all art lovers, we hope that experts from around the world will take an interest in this side of Munch’s artistic production, so that his drawings attract the attention they deserve from art historians”, he added.
90% of the works of this online gallery belong to the Museum collection, the rest were offered for digitalization by their private owners, most of who did not ask for a fee.
Many people helped. In one case, “we could not understand which building was depicted in the drawing”, said Bruteig, “so I posted a photograph of the work to a Facebook group called ‘Old photographs from Oslo’ and asked for their help, which they gave me. The drawing showed the back of the Parliament before the building was extended”, he added.
The visitor to this gallery can encounter many “paradoxes”: Edvard Munch adored dogs, but he quarrelled fiercely with his neighbour over a dog called Rolle who lived in the next door courtyard. Munch depicted Rolle in numerous lithographs and drawings.
“Our aim is to make Munch’s art known and easily accessible to as many people as possible” said Magne Bruteig “and since the majority of drawings have never been exhibited or published ,it was very important for us to reveal this ‘hidden treasure’”.
Anyone can “leaf through” the catalogue “Edvard Munch’s Drawings” on the Munch Museum website.