Edward Munch

Edvard Munch, 1893, The Scream

Edvard Munch, 1893, The Scream

The Scream was created by Norwegian Artist Edward Munch in 1893.

This painting has become one of the most iconic images in art, symbolizing the ubiquitous human condition: anxiety. In 1908, it was featured as a cover illustration for a book on psychological disorder an art.

Dr. Noelle Paulson describes the painting in an essay on Khan Academy

Its androgynous, skull-shaped head, elongated hands, wide eyes, flaring nostrils and ovoid mouth have been engrained in our collective cultural consciousness; the swirling blue landscape and especially the fiery orange and yellow sky.

What inspired this painting?

A year before he painted this scene, Munch writes this this entry in his journal

Nice 22/1/92

I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – I felt a wave of sadness – The sky suddenly turned blood-red

I stopped, leaned against the fence tired to death – gazed out over the flaming clouds like blood and swords – the blue-black fjord and city – My friends walked on – I stood there quaking with angst – and I felt as though a vast, endless scream passed through nature

His work had a formative influence on the Symbolist and Expressionist movement. As opposed to naturalism and realism, symbolists and expressionists artists shift the emphasis from the direction representation of nature to the world of the imagination. They sought to express the meaning of emotional experience rather than physical reality.

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