Edvard Munch’s painting, titled “Love and Pain,” has become more commonly known as “Vampire” due to its subject matter. Created in 1893, the painting depicts a woman kissing a man’s neck in an embrace that has been interpreted as being vampiric in nature. Munch produced multiple versions of this subject over a two-year period, with Vampire being one of the most well-known.
The painting is characterized by Munch’s use of intense colors and his mysterious interpretation of the scene. The identity of the vampire in the painting is left open to interpretation, allowing viewers their own perception of the piece. However, some have noted that it evokes themes of mortality and melancholy.
Despite its beauty, Vampire was deemed morally ‘degenerate’ by Nazis who saw it as contrary to their moral code. The open-ended nature of the messaging means that it both captivates and disturbs art enthusiasts today. Overall Edvard Munch’s Vampire can inspire its audience through its exploration into love and death with equal measure while still holding our modern interest more than 120 years after its first creation.