Published  14/10/2005

Narcissus Self-Exposed

Narcissus Self-Exposed

Seldom has there been such a display of self-portraiture as the Edvard Munch exhibition just opened at the Royal Academy in London. Munch's creative self-obsession has perhaps never been captured to such a degree before, culminating in the artist representing himself as Jesus Christ, no less; painted in mid-career, more symbolist than the symbolists themselves. The sexual obsession reads on through the seemingly manic heads. Munch is, nonetheless, sadness personified, and when his sexual exuberance might have granted him salvation from alcohol, it failed him, or his partners did so.

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