Edvard Munch: Spiritualism & the X-ray

Edvard Munch, The Sick Child, 1907, Oil paint on canvas (© Munch Museum/Munch-El
Edvard Munch, The Sick Child, 1907, Oil paint on canvas (© Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2002)

An essay by Sue Prideaux on the influence of photography and x-rays on the paintings of Edvard Munch.

Prideaux writes that Munch "is best known for his pictures of moody lovers and tortured souls. However, these were not merely a product of his feverish imagination. His paintings, prints and ghostly photographs reflected a contemporary fascination with spiritualism... the supernatural, the occult and the newly discovered X-ray... [Munch] was fascinated by how spiritualist photographs, with their apparent synthesis of the material and the immaterial, assuaged the public’s hunger for a return to the spiritual and the sacred that mere Naturalist depiction ignored."

Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye is on view at Tate Modern through October 14, 2012.