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Art and Images in Psychiatry |

The Sun

James C. Harris, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2004;61(2):116. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.61.2.116.
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In the autumn of 1908, Edvard Munch (1863-1944) admitted himself toa private psychiatric clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. His mental breakdownwas the culmination of his negative treatment by the Norwegian press, feelingsof guilt about his relationship with his family, the turbulence of his emotionallife, his sense of betrayal by his friends, and chronic insomnia.1 He felt persecuted and had increasingly abused alcohol,waking with numbness in his hands and feet and writing to a friend that hedrank like a man possessed. His involvement in brawls and fights had beenin the newspapers. In Hamburg, Germany, he had assaulted several strangersin a hotel.

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Edvard Munch (1863-1944), Norwegian. The Sun, 1912-1916.Oil on canvas; 16 ft, 11⅛ in × 25 ft, 7 in (455 × 780 cm).Aula (Assembly Hall), Oslo University, Oslo, Norway. Courtesy of the MunchMuseum, Oslo/Bridgeman Art Library. Copyright Artists Rights Society, NewYork, NY. Photographed by Erich Lessing/Art Resource NY.

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