The Sun by Edvard Munch

An almost religious relationship with light

The Sun by Edvard Munch preview image

The works of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch pay homage to “the eternal life forces”. Whereas his world-famous canvas The Scream highlights the darker side of human existence, in his masterpiece The Sun he explores his fascination with light as the source of all life.

The rising December sun over a fjord in Kragerø bathes the ocean waves, the bare cliffs along the coast and the narrow green strip that forms the boundary between land and sea in a bright light. A clean straight line divides the water from the sky. The sun is omnipresent. Its light envelops everything.

This VR project reveals the story behind the work and tells of Munch’s fascination with light and light experiments, conveying his “almost religious relationship with light”. It was shot at the original scene in Kragerø.

Slowly and almost imperceptibly, the light of the sunrise dispels the winter darkness in the VR experience. The night vanishes and the landscape is cloaked in a gentle morning glow, the sun’s rays acquire a fiercer intensity and the sun, the source of all life, turns threateningly harsh and gleaming. Can we see beyond the physical limits of our eyes?

Building on Munch’s curiosity about science and spirituality, the last part of the VR experience becomes psychedelic: explosions of colour and psychedelic picture fragments set up contrasts with the pure light and the sun, the “ganzfeld effect” generates hallucinatory sequences of images.

The VR experience is underlaid with “An Alpine Symphony” by Richard Strauss. Munch and Strauss wrote to each other often and shared a fascination with light and scientific experiments.

Click here to discover The Monk by the Sea by Caspar David Friedrich in 360°.

Credits

  • Production - Gebrueder beetz
  • Coproduction - ZDF, Substans Films SF
  • In partnership with High Road Productions, ARTE, Alte Nationalgalerie - Funded by Creative Europe – MEDIA Programme of the European Union, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

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