Activity: Write a Story Inspired by Edvard Munch

  • Grades: All Ages
  • Subjects: Art Activities

Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye...it also includes the inner pictures of the soul.

Edvard Munch

Although Munch always painted human figures and recognizable things, it was not their physical appearance in the world that interested him most. For Munch, strong color and brushwork were ways to express the feelings and emotions that surround the events of life. Take some time to explore Girl Under Apple Tree and use it to prompt a creative short story with this art activity!

A young woman wearing a black and white dress and cap stands in front of a large tree with twisting branches. She is standing next to a bunch of wheat and holding some in her hands while looking directly at the viewer. The roofs of two houses can be seen in the background.
Edvard Munch, Girl Under Apple Tree, 1904, Carnegie Museum of Art

See And Think

  • What feelings come through to you in this scene of a girl all alone standing beneath an apple tree?
  • Consider the physical placement of the girl, tree, and surrounding foliage. Imagine what brought her there.
  • What is she doing?
  • Why is she looking so directly at the viewer?
  • Pick three adjectives to describe the tree.

Do: Write a Short Story Based on Munch’s Painting

Materials Needed: Paper and something to write with (pen, pencil, etc.)

  1. Take the perspective of either the tree or the girl.
  2. Consider the setting, mood, and other characters they might encounter.
  3. What has happened? What will happen next?
  4. Write a short story from their point of view.