and author, and a friend of Edvard Munch.
Dagny Juel was born in Kongsvinger, Norway on June the 8th 1867.
She grew up in a wealthy family, with music as a part of their daily
Her father was a medical doctor and Mayor of Kongsvinger, famous
for his sonorous tenor; her mother a capable and self-sacrificing
housewife. Dagny had three sisters, of whom she was most attached
to the youngest one. In the 1880-s the two lived in Kristiania,
the present city of Oslo, studying music. In Norway`s capital the
Juel sisters were aquainted with a group of artists of their own
age, one of them was the painter Edvard Munch. He made a portrait
of Dagny and her sister in 1892, and called it "Two playing sisters".
The painting belonged to Dagny`s family for many years, but is now
After a few years in Kristiania, Dagny moved to Berlin to continue
her studies. Her friend Munch lived there already, and he introduced
her to a group of artists who used to meet in the café "Zum schwartzen
ferkel". In these surroundings Dagny met the Polish author Stanislaw
Przybyszewski, and was married to him in 1893. That was the year
when Edvard Munch painted a second portrait of Dagny, today exhibited
in the Munch Museum in Oslo.
Dagny and her husband lived in poor conditions in Berlin until 1898.
They used to visit Dagny`s home in Kongsvinger every summer, and
here their two children were born. While living in the company of
artists and authors, Dagny herself started writing. During her career
she merely wrote four dramas, five short stories, and fourteen poems;
a small production, but an interesting one, thanks to her female
and modernistic literary voice. In 1898, Dagny and her husband moved
to Cracow in Poland, where a period of gradual personal dissolution
started. Dagny`s marriage met with unsurmountable challenges. One
thing led to the other, and Dagny`s life eventually was put to a
tragic end in Tbilisi, Russia; in 1901, when a Polish-Russian admirer
first shot Dagny , and then himself. This tragedy was the start
of a wave of rumours and articles, which presented all kinds of
Edvard Munch was one of the few to come to her defence. In an interview
with a Norwegian newspaper shortly after Dagny`s death, he spoke
of her as his good friend, and stressed the artistic side of her
character. He gave a warm description of Dagny`s ability to inspire
others, and talked warmly about her kind and encouraging nature.
The National Women`s Museum in Kongsvinger is situated in the childhood
home of Dagny Juel-Przybyszewska, a woman who had the ill fortune
of becoming more known for her way of life, than for her work. In
the spirit of Edward Munch, the Museum wishes to change this image,
and emphasize her true value as an artist.