The Tale Behind Munch’s ‘The Scream’

the scream

Originally created in 1893, and finally completed in 1910, The Scream by Norwegian Edvard Munch is one of the most famous paintings ever produced. Its current auction value is estimated in the neighborhood of eighty million dollars.

The wavy person with the ashen face engaged in a scream brings uneasiness to the viewer as well as the surroundings which seem to blur and wave with the screamer. The colors are stark and swirling as the scream lashes out and profoundly affects all that it touches.

Munch had always feared losing his sanity as he was constantly reminded of his sister who had to be placed in the care of an asylum. Munch’s inspiration, it seems, came from an actual place in Norway in the village of Ekeberg. The barely visible hint of a city in the background of the painting is Oslo. The tale is told that Munch’s sister’s asylum, as well as a slaughterhouse, were quite close to the bridge depicted in the painting. The painting was inspired by the screaming that could be heard in the area emanating from both slaughterhouse and insane asylum.

He once commented in his diary that he had been walking on the bridge when he just seemed to be absorbed into the power of a scream which seemed to sap the very life energy from him. He felt that a scream has a most devastating effect on all that it touches.

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