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About the collections

Edvard Munch

A colorful painting by Edvard Munch, depicting a self-portrait, where he is seated by a window.

Edvard Munch: Selvportrett / Self Portrait (1909)

Kode and Bergen own the third largest Edvard Munch collection in the world.

Edvard Munch (1863—1944) is the artist behind some of the world’s most famous paintings.

He is regarded as a pioneer of expressionism in art, a movement which focused on expressing human internal emotions.

Today, Kode and Bergen own the third largest Edvard Munch collection in the world, consisting of more than 100 works on paper and 50 paintings.

It originates from Rasmus Meyer’s collection and the works were collected in close dialogue with the artist himself. Meyer was among the first significant collectors of Edvard Munch’s art and he acquired major works from all of Munch’s artistic phases.

The collection has since been extended through purchases for Bergen Visual Arts Museum and not least through Rolf Stenersen’s gift to Bergen in 1971.

Kode has previously displayed the Edvard Munch collection in a permanent exhibition at Rasmus Meyer. In 2022, large parts of the collection has been on loan and a smaller selection of works have been displayed at Rasmus Meyer.

En ung mann sitter foran et maleri av Edvard Munch

Foto: Dag Fosse / Kode

Munch at Kode

Kode has some of the most central works from the Frieze of Life—a series of paintings Munch started in 1889, where he depicts the inner life of modern man and which he himself called his major project.

The frieze consists of a series of paintings with motifs grouped under the main themes love, anxiety and death and with the beach and the forest as common nature elements.

Munch’s main intention with the Frieze of Life was to “have life explained to me and its meaning … (and) to help others make clear life to them”. 

The paintings “Jealousy”, “Melancholy”, “Woman in Three Stages”, “Evening on Karl Johan Street” and “By the Deathbed” are all part of the Frieze of Life and exhibited together at Rasmus Meyer.

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser tre kvinner i ulike stadier av livet, med en mann plassert til høyre i bildekanten

Edvard Munch: Kvinnen i tre stadier / Woman (1894)

Malerier fra Edvard Munchs Livsfrise.

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser en mann som sitter med hånden plassert under kinnet, med et melankolsk ansiktsuttrykk

Edvard Munch: Melankoli / Melancholy (1894-96)

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser en gruppe mennesker som går nedover Karl Johan, med spøkelsesaktige ansikter

Edvard Munch: Aften på Karl Johan/ Evening on Karl Johan (1892)

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser en mannsfigur i forgrunnen, med grønnmalt ansikt, og en delvis avkledd kvinne sammen med en mann i bakgrunnen

Edvard Munch: Sjalusi / Jealousy (1895)

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser en gruppe sørgmodige mennesker ved siden av en seng, hvor det ligger en døende person oppi.

Edvard Munch: Ved dødssengen / At the Deathbed (1895)

Rasmus Meyer bought his first Munch painting in 1906 and in 1908 he made his first purchase directly from the artist. The year after, the two of them met for the first time, and Munch later writes personally to Munch:

(In Norwegian) Med det Kjøb, jeg dennegang har gjort og med de Billeder, jeg tidligere har af Dem, synes jeg at jeg maa ha naaet det Maal jeg har sat mig: At gi et fyldig Billede af Deres Udvikling, saa at de, der vil studere Deres Kunst hos mig vil kunne følge den i alle dens Stadier. (Translated) With the purchase I now have made and the paintings that I previously have from You, it seems to me I must have reached the goal I set: to present a rich picture of Your development so that those who wish to study my collection of Your art will be able to follow it through all its stages.

Rasmus Meyer

Munch worked innovatively and experimentally with his graphic works.

Kode has a substantial collection of works on paper and among these are famous motifs like “Scream” and “Madonna”, as an ink drawing and a lithography respectively.

En tusjtegning av Edvard Munchs motiv Skrik

Edvard Munch: Skrik / The Scream (udatert/undated)

Kode har en betydelig samling verk på papir av Edvard Munch.

Et litografi av Edvard Munch, som viser motivet Madonna, hvor en kvinne står med bart bryst og håret flommende utover.

Edvard Munch: Madonna (litografi/ litograph, 1895-1902)

Et litografi av Edvard Munch som viser en kvinne til venstre, kledd i hvitt, og en mann med ryggen mot henne, i høyre bildekant.

Edvard Munch: Løsrivelse I / Separation I (litografi / litograph, 1896)

Et sort-hvitt litografi av Edvard Munch, som viser en gruppe sørgende mennesker i et værelse

Edvard Munch: Døden i sykeværelset/ Death in the Sickroom (litografi / litograph (1896)

Kode can also present works from Stenersen’s collection like “Morning Yawn” and “Winter Landscape from Thüringen”.

The work “Winter Night” (1930–1931) is one of Munch’s latest works in the Stenersen Collection.

Et maleri av Edvard Munch, som viser et vinterlandskap skildret i blåtoner

Edvard Munch: Vinternatt / Winter Night Ekely (1930-31)

Malerier fra Rolf Stenersens samling av Edvard Munch.

Et fargerikt maleri av Edvard Munch, som viser en kvinne som sitter på en seng og gjesper

Edvard Munch: Morgengjesp / Morning Yawn (1913)

Et maleri av Edvard Munch, som viser et vinterlandskap i lyse farger

Edvard Munch: Vinterlandskap fra Thuringen / Winter Landscape Thuringen (1906)

Death and legacy

Edvard Munch died in 1944.

Munch’s art has always been distinctively forceful. It is life itself he plays out before us and we are drawn into this drama.

With innovative narrative techniques, Munch manages to catch the spectator. The motifs remain personal and relevant—even a hundred years after they were created.

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser en kvinne som sitter på en stein på en strand, mens hun ser mot venstre.

Edvard Munch: Sommernatt. Inger på stranden / Summer Night. Inger on the Beach (1889)

Et maleri av Edvard Munch, som skildrer et landskap langs en strand, med måneskinnet i bakgrunnen

Edvard Munch: Måneskinn på stranden/ Moonlight on the Beach (1892)

Et maleri av Edvard Munch som viser en gruppe nakne unge menn sittende på en strand.

Edvard Munch: Badende gutter / Bathing Boys (1904-05)