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The Scream by Edvard Munch

Updated on May 4, 2012

The Scream

Munch's subject matter is symbolist in content, depicting a state of mind rather than an external reality. Munch maintained that the impressionist idiom did not suit his art. Interested in portraying not a random slice of reality, but situations brimming with emotional content and expressive energy, Munch carefully calculated his compositions to create a tense atmosphere.


Edvard Munch is one of those artists whose work makes a dramatic impact on me.... his works resonate and reverberate in some way.. it is possible to get into his work and in a way 'feel' or become a part of the chaos he portrays...

We have an expression in Ireland when you look at something and get a shiver down your back,, we say;-

someone is walking on your grave...

Munch does that to me, somewhere in another dimension we all bleed...

The World's Most Expensive Painting

The Scream was sold for $119,922,500 at Sotheby’s in New York City on May 2nd 2012

where it came from...

In a note in his diary - the page headed Nice 22.01.1892, Munch described his inspiration for the image thus:

I was walking along a path 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 anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

—Edvard Munch

more about Edvard Munch

Edvard Munch, Norway's most popular artist, was a painter, lithographer, etcher, and wood engraver. He is looked upon as one of the most significant influences on the development of German and Central European expressionism. Munch's convulsed and tortuous art was formed by the misery and conflicts of his time, and, even more important, by his own unhappy life. Childhood tragedy, intense and dramatic love affairs, alcoholism, and ceaseless traveling are reflected in his works, particularly in paintings like The Sick Child, The Scream, and Vampire. Munch's pictures show his social awareness and his tendency to express, as in Puberty, many of the basic fears and anxieties of mankind.

more Edvard Munch

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Self-portrait inside the House in Åsgårdstrand, ca. 1904

Self-portrait with a nurse at Doctor Jacobson`s clinic in Copenhagen 1908-09





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    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Thanks very much Larry... when one looks around it is strange to see xhundred thousand people following an imaginary story line in an imaginary place with an imaginary outcome... and this is just Tv... :-)

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

      I have always viewed his " The Scream " as an expression of quiet desperation, and of the absurdity of life...

      Nice, concise thumbnail of an incredible artist...The photo gallery is a nice touch...Thanks, Larry

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 6 years ago from NYC....

      Thanks for the comment Bob... yes, his work is excellent and captures emotions out at the edge of awareness...

    • profile image

      bob 6 years ago

      i no i love his art work and it shows a lot of emotion

    • Drax profile image

      des donnelly 10 years ago from NYC....

      thanks Livelonger, Munch really was a very interesting character and definitely walked his own path and not that of his Norwegian contemporaries... I still can't believe that I missed Munch in NYC...

    • livelonger profile image

      Jason Menayan 10 years ago from San Francisco

      I love his art, too. I saw an exhibit at the NYC MoMA a year ago that was fascinating. Of course The Scream is the most well-known pieces, but he demonstrated the internal rebellion against the rigidities of Norwegian society at the time beautifully.