The Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch caused outrage when his paintings were first shown in Berlin but became one of the most prolific artists of his time. Often described as having had bipolar affective disorder, his low moods and sense of isolation are evident in works such as The Scream, Separation,and Evening on Karl Johan. Yet the evidence of his diaries and his many biographies suggest more plausible diagnoses of depressive disorder and comorbid alcohol dependence. Art historians acknowledge his ability to represent extreme emotional states, while debating the extent to which Munch exploited the market for his ‘flawed personality’.
- © 2010 Royal College of Psychiatrists