4 Things You Might Not Know About 'The Scream'

Learn need-to-knows about Edvard Munch's famous painting from The Munch Museum, Oslo

De Google Arts & Culture

The Scream (1910) de Edvard MunchThe Munch Museum, Oslo

The Scream is undoubtedly Edvard Munch’s most famous painting, created in Berlin and Åsgårdsstrand in the 1890’s. Scroll on to learn must-knows facts about Munch...

1. There are several screams

Munch later gave the series of works the title 'Frieze of Life' and described these paintings as a poem of love, life, and death. 

2. It's based on personal experience

'The Scream' is based on an experience Munch had when he was walking with two friends in Ekebergåsen on the outskirts of Christiania. He described his experience in several texts...

"I was out walking with two friends - the sun was setting - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence...

...there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with angst...

...and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature."

3. The screaming figure is being dragged into the modern age

The two boats, echoing the pair of figures on the bridge, might represent the unity and relative calm of pre-1900s Europe, which recedes into the background...

...whilst a violent plunge of linear perspective drags the main figure into the immediate foreground, into the modern world. He becomes an archetype of the anxious modern man, an angst-ridden human being for whom God is dead and materialism is of no comfort.

4. It has become a universal and timeless symbol

Munch produced several versions of The Scream. Two of them are paintings, of which one belongs to the National Gallery in Oslo, the other to the Munch Museum. The motif has constantly been copied, caricatured and commercialized in numerous ways, and is undoubtedly one of the most famous images in the world of art. It’s a universal, and timeless, picture of the human condition.

Discover the real-life landscapes from The Scream and other famous artworks here

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