Edvard Munch’s Toponymic Codes
The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) created upwards of 1789 paintings of which only 14 are inscribed with toponyms. The extreme rarity of place names in his work invites consideration. In some cases, these place names signify the direct witnessing of a location or a person. More interestingly, the toponyms operate as literary devices that focus attention on the artist’s sickness and health, on physical collapse and rebirth. Interpreting toponyms as forms of ‘time travel’ and ‘space travel’, the article considers Munch’s signatures and toponyms as elements in the formation of his public biography.