Self-Portrait with Skeleton Arm

Edvard Munch

Munch made self-portraits throughout his career in a range of media including painting and photography. He made his first printed self-portrait in 1895. It includes an inscription of the artist’s name at the top and a skeleton arm below, which acts as a memento mori (reminder of death). Coupled with the dense black background from which the artist’s disembodied head emerges, this sombre work reflects Munch’s preoccupation with mortality, even at the age of thirty-two.

Courtesy the Gunderson Collection