Munch’s 'The Scream' to Make First Appearance in Japan This October

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is going to hold a large exhibition titled Munch: A Retrospective this October, featuring approximately 100 works by Edvard Munch (1863-1944). His iconic work The Scream will also make its long-awaited first appearance in Japan.

Self-Portrait Between the Clock and the Bed, 1940-43. Oil on canvas

This comprehensive retrospective showcases some 60 oil paintings, together with prints, sketches and other works spanning six decades of Munch’s career. Visitors will be able to trace the artist’s footsteps from his early masterpieces telling his tragic childhood, to brightly painted works from his later years.

Death of Marat, 1907. Oil on canvas

The Norwegian painter was the forerunner of Expressionism in the 20th century. His works intensely depict the inner life of the human being, such as love, despair, jealousy, loneliness.

Death and Spring, 1893. Oil on canvas

The Sick Child, 1896.Lithograph

Edvard Munch’s childhood was marked by tragedy. In 1868, when he was only five years old, his mother died from tuberculosis, the same disease that killed his favourite sister Johanne Sophie in 1877. The Sick Child touches on the fragility of life, drawing upon Munch’s personal memories.

Self-Portrait, 1882. Oil, board

Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm, 1895. Lithograph

In 1881, Munch enrolled at the Royal School of Art and Design of Kristiania. Munch demonstrated his quick absorption of his figure training at the Academy in his first portraits, including a portrait of his father and his first self-portrait. In 1889, Munch had his first solo show of nearly all his works to date. At the end of the year, his father, a military physician, passed away. He was depressed by the deaths of his family, and hence, many of his works focus on the theme of loss.

Despair, 1893-94. Oil on canvas

Summer Night. Mermaid, 1893. Oil on canvas

In 1892, Munch was invited by Adelsteen Normann, on behalf of the Union of Berlin Artists, to exhibit at its November exhibition. It led to a controversy known as ‘The Munch Affair'. His works were considered degenerate art by the conservative painter Anton von Werner, Director of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts. The exhibition was closed seven days after opening its door to public. But the scandal made Munch famous.

Madonna, 1895, 1902. Lithograph

Summer Night The Voice, 1896. Woodprint

In the 1890s, Munch lived mainly in France and he began another productive period in his art, in which his famous series The Frieze of Life was created during the time. The paintings in the series focused on capturing foundational human emotions and experiences: jealousy, love, anxiety, despair, isolation, separation. The Frieze of Life was first shown at the Berlin Secession in 1902.

The Kiss, 1895. Etching

Kiss on the Beach, 1914. Oil on canvas

In the autumn of 1908, his mental suffering got more severe due to his drinking problem. Munch was verging on madness. He then received therapy for the next eight months and his condition became stabilized. He returned to Norway after long years of living abroad. His works are more colourful and less pessimistic during the recovery period.

The Sun, 1910-13. Oil on canvas

Starry Night, 1922-24. Oil on canvas

In his later years, he moved to a country house in Ekely (near Oslo), Norway, where he lived in isolation and began painting landscapes. He died in his housein Oslo on 23 January 1944, about a month after his 80th birthday.

The Lonely Ones, 1933-35. Oil on canvas

Apple Tree in the Garden, 1932-42. Oil on canvas

The highlight of the exhibition is, without question, the tempera and oil version of The Scream from the Munch Museum collection. This version of Munch’s iconic masterpiece is going to make its first appearance in Japan.

The Scream, 1910. Tempera, oil

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum is situated at Ueno Park Taito-ku and it is easily accessible. It takes 7 minutes walking from JR 'Ueno Station' Park Exit or 10 minutes walking from 'Ueno Station' Exit 7, Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, or 10 min walking from Keisei Line 'Ueno Station'.


Munch: A Retrospective

Period: October 27, 2018 - January 20, 2019
Venue: Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
General Tickets|JPY 1,600
College Students|JPY 1,300
High School Students|JPY 800
Seniors 65+|JPY 1,000
Visitors junior high school age or younger, visitors with a physical disability and one accompanying person|Free

Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Opening hours:9:30am - 5:30pm
Entire Museum Closed: 9 -16 July|25 December|31 December - 1 January|11 - 18 January
Special Exhibitions and Thematic Exhibitions|Mondays (except national
holidays, when closed following day instead)
All other exhibitions|every 1st and 3rd Monday (except national holidays,
when closed following day instead)
Address: 8-36 Ueno-Park Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-0007
Enquiry: 03-3823-6921