British Museum to Stage Munch’s Largest Show of Prints in UK

British Museum is going to present Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, the artist’s biggest exhibition of prints in the UK for 45 years. The centrepiece of the show is a rare lithograph of the artist’s iconic work, The Scream.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), The Scream. Lithograph, 1895

In the coming April, the exhibition explores the artist’s remarkable body of work and his mastery of the art of printmaking. He adopted innovative techniques, bold use of colour and dark subject matter resonated with shifting attitudes to express the intensity of human emotions.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Self Portrait

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), The Lonely Ones

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Jealousy in the Garden

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Head by Head

The show features 83 artworks in all, including 50 prints from Oslo’s Munch Museum, alongside the original printing block for each piece. Among the 83 artworks is a rare original print of The Scream, the artist’s most famous work that depicts mental anguish. It is the first time in a decade that an original version of The Scream will go on show in the UK.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), The Scream. Lithograph, 1895

Edvard Munch in his studio, 1902

Although it has become a universal symbol of human anxiety, The Scream is a deeply personal response to Munch’s upbringing and experiences as a young artist. He suffered from the early death of his mother and sister from tuberculosis. The death of his father in 1889 devastated Munch. Depressed by the deaths of his family, Munch focused his work on the theme of loss.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Madonna

The Scream will be shown in the Anxiety and Separation section of the exhibition, which will also include a drawing, Despair, itself associated with Munch’s most famous work. Other themes include women, with whom Munch had a series of disastrous relationships, and sickness.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Girls on the Bridge

The exhibition shows how new ideas about personal and political independence gave rise to an important voice. Munch rejected his strict Lutheran upbringing to pursue an unconventional lifestyle. He travelled across Europe, drawing artistic inspiration from the bohemian circles he encountered and his passionate love affairs. Munch’s work articulated his experiences of life in a rapidly changing Europe, that was to be shattered by the first global industrialised conflict.


Edvard Munch: Love and Angst

Venue: Room 35, British Museum
Address: Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG
Dates: 11 April - 21 July 2019
Opening hours:
Saturdays to Thursdays|10am-5:30pm
Admission fee:
16-18 years, students, disabled person|£12
Under 16 years (accompanied by a paying adult)|Free