Dead Madonna

Dagny Juel Przybyszewska

Dagny Juel was the model for Edvard Munch's famous picture Madonna. She was known as one of the major beauties of her time. Her story is unusual: far ahead of her time, she was a woman in the European Avant Garde in the 1890s. She was misunderstood and ultimately shot and killed because of her conspicuity: the way she looked, dressed and her conduct did not transfer well into a time hostile to independent women.

Her death was a scandal. Her enemies did what they could to distort the facts, the truth of her story. She became a notorious “Femme Fatal”, more infamous than famous. This faulty image of her has prevented the acknowledgement of her successful achievements: as an artist, a pioneer woman and as a woman with a strong integrity.

Dagny was an educated piano player and an intellectual. She wrote symbolist plays, poems, short stories and also some art reviews. She viewed herself as an author.

The film has its foundation on extensive research. It involves previously unseen visual material from Dagny’s life. The delicate, symbolic expressions and the visual images inspired by nature also bring to life the lingo of the late 19th century art scene.

In distribution at Norwegian Film Institute (NFI) This film has been screened at film festivals in France, Poland and in Norway, among others. It has been screened at festivals for art, crime films, poetic nights, and a lot of different cultural events.