Paywalls being what they are, I wasn’t able to access Murray Whyte’s review of “Edvard Munch: Trembling Earth” in The Boston Globe. Curious as to what fellow critics made of the show, I thought a cursory trawl of the internet might be helpful in putting my thoughts in order. “Trembling Earth” is, after all, the first U.S. exhibition to focus on how the famed Norwegian painter depicted the natural world, both as an independent subject as well as an adjunct to his figurative compositions. Given Munch’s belief that “nature is not only all that is visible to the eye” but “also includes the inner pictures of the soul,” the curatorial tack seemed appropriate and sounded promising.

Little did I imagine that the painter of The...


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