60.5 x 44.2 cm
Death and the Maiden
Wiechmann wrote on Jun 22, 2001:
Is'nt the fetus a man?
The women is at peace with herself. As concerns the man (fetus??)
I remember a song of the "sisters of mercy": "... I don't exist
when you don't see me...". The man doesn't belong to the picture,
he is'nt within the picture frame. But he can't turn away himself
and his eyes. He is'nt without the picture frame...
wrote on Apr 24, 2001:
Loss of the Primary Object in Munch's Madonna
Re: Comments made by Rob (Apr 21, 2001).
The separation of the fetus from the Madonna (mother) is perhaps
indicative of the sense of loss that Munch felt after the death
of his mother when he was a child (loss of the symbiotic relationship).
In Freudian terms---loss of a primary object leading to pathological
grieving. It has been said that children who lose a parent are
prone to subsequent depression later on in adulthood because their
grieving process is incomplete. Unlike adults, children do not
have the capacity to comprehend the magnitude of the loss. They
cannot redefine their lives without that important person in a
healthy way. Children internalize their grief over the 'object
loss' and the 'self turns against the self' in the form of depression.
Munch suffered the ill effects of depression throughout his life
and it is very much present in his work. As a matter of fact,
loss seems to be the defining theme in Munch's artwork. The black
clouds that are so often present, represent a sense of oncoming
doom. Adults who have lost a parent very often report that since
childhood they have felt vulnerable and subject to chaos. Children
need the presence of the mother figure to explore the world. They
need to feel the security of her presence. The sentiment of Munch's
work reminds me of that of Edgar Allan Poe who experienced the
repeated loss of important figures during youth. Loss is definitely
a major theme in Poe's work. In particular, I'm reminded of the
poem entitled 'Alone'. You should check it out along with Object
Relations theory (Melanie Klein), or the work of John Bowlby.
Or, if you want to make an interpretation on the 'Scream', you
should read R.D Laing's The Divided Self---in particular the chapter
on the 'Chaotic Non-Entity'.
wrote on Apr 21, 2001:
My absolute favorite of any of Munch's anythings, I don't know
why, I don't know what the significance of the fetus in the lower
left hand corner is or the meaning of the sperm around the Madonna,
maybe I'm way off and that's some Freudian interpretation, but
look at her face, is she at peace? I don't know, but I love it.
Edvard Munch: The Frieze