12th June 2009 at 01:00

Edvard Munch's famous picture, "The Scream", is one that many stressed teachers can probably identify with. Now you can see it "in the flesh", free, in an exhibition at Glasgow University's Hunterian Art Gallery devoted to the Norwegian artist's remarkable Expressionist prints.

Munch, who was born in 1863, painted several versions of "The Scream" before producing it in lithographic form. The rare example on show in Glasgow, which - like the rest of the exhibition - comes from the Munch Museum in Oslo, will never again be seen outside Norway.

The exhibition features 40 of Munch's angst-filled etchings, lithographs and woodcuts including, as well as "The Scream", "Madonna", "Vampire" and "Jealousy." His inspiration for "The Scream" came about during a walk when, he recalled in his diary: "The sun began to set. Suddenly, the sky turned blood red and I paused, feeling exhausted. There was blood and tongues of fire above the blue black fjord and the city and I stood there, trembling with anxiety and sensed an endless scream passing through nature."

Early in his career, Munch's work caused considerable upset, to his delight. In a letter to his family, when a Berlin show was closed after just one week, he wrote: "I have never had such an enjoyable time - incredible that something as innocent as painting can cause such a stir."

Following a spell in what would, these days, be called rehab, the artist went on to have a long and profitable career, dying in 1944, aged 81.

Art classes and print workshops for children and adults, and a series of free talks about Munch, are being held at the Hunterian Art Gallery during the show which runs until September 5.


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