Vampire (1895)

Munch made many versions of the motif we know as Vampire. He varied the colours and the technique, but the motif remained more-or-less unchanged after the first version painted in 1893.
The motif has a simple and concentrated expression. A woman is sitting bent over a man who is lying with his head on her lap. Her long red hair hangs around him to accentuate the embrace and tie him to her. The shadow behind the couple gathers them in a pyramid-shaped composition so that they become one.
The motif has had a number of titles. The first version was called Love and Pain when it was exhibited in Berlin in 1893. Many years later, in connection with the Frieze of Life exhibition in Kristiania in1918, Munch gave a new version of the motif the title Woman kissing Man on the Neck.
All the same it is the title Vampire that we usually associate with the motif. It was probably the Polish poet and anarchist Stanislaw Przybyszewski, a central figure in Berlin’s artist circles, who chose the title Vampire for the motif!?


  • Title: Vampire
  • Creator: Edvard Munch
  • Creator Lifespan: 1863-12-12/1944-01-23
  • Creator Nationality: Norwegian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Jarlsborgveien 14, Oslo. Norway
  • Creator Birth Place: Løten, Hedmark. Norway
  • Date Created: 1895
  • Physical Dimensions: w1090 x h910 cm
  • Type: Painting

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps