NO PAINTING SUMS UP the alienation and isolation of 21st century existence as does The Scream by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. After Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, it is the second most recognised painting in the world.
The idea came to Munch while walking in the wooded hills above old Oslo more than a century ago, following a bout of heavy drinking the previous evening.
“I was walking along the road with two friends. The sun set. I felt a great sadness. Suddenly the sky became blood red. I stopped, leaned against the railings, dead tired. And saw the flaming clouds as blood over the blue-black fjord and city. My friends walked on. I stood there trembling with angst. And I sensed a loud, unending scream pierce nature.”
Written shortly after his walk, the words that would eventually lead to the series of paintings and lithographs entitled Skrik (The Scream), contain…
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