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Art and Images in Psychiatry |

Munch's Self-portrait Between Clock and Bed

James C. Harris, MD
JAMA Psychiatry. 2013;70(4):358-359. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.312.
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The Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch explored his anxiety about life and his illnesses through his art (epigraph). His best-known and most-often cited works were created between 1890 and 1908, yet he continued to draw and paint for 35 more years. An important part of his work in those later years was self-portraiture. From the age of 18 until his death in 1944 at age 80, Munch (1863-1944) painted nearly 70 self-portraits, 20 prints, and more than 100 watercolors, drawings, and sketches, most of them after 1900. These provide a visual autobiography of more than 6 decades of his life, yet few were exhibited during his lifetime. Seemingly, he used self-portraits as a means of self-exploration of his life and his relationships with others. His first self-portrait at the age of 18 was a realistic personal likeness, but his later ones were more revealing of his suffering and self-alienation.2

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Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Norwegian. Self-portrait Between Clock and Bed, 1940-1942. Oil on canvas, 149.5 × 120.5 cm. Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway. Photo Credit: Scala/Art Resource, New York. © 2013 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/Artists Rights Society, New York.

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Figure.The Night Wanderer, 1923-1924. Oil on canvas, 98 × 68 cm. Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway. Photo Credit: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York. © 2013 The Munch Museum/The Munch-Ellingsen Group/Artists Rights Society, New York.

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