Munch’s “Scream”: The “crazy one” was the painter himself


“Kan kun være malet af en gal Mand!” Is written in Norwegian in the upper left corner of the picture. Translated: “Can only have been painted by a madman!”

 The re are many puzzles around “©

 The  Scream”, the famous picture by Edvard Munch. Because of the coloring of the sky, which made the painter shudder. Because of the dating, because of mysterious spots or because of the lettering – how current. ©

 The  Norwegian National Museum in Oslo was now known that a barely visible sentence on the picture was written by the artist himself.For years there had been speculations about the origin of the small lettering between the red clouds of sky in the upper left corner of the painting.

“Kan kun være malet af en gal Mand!” Is written in Norwegian in the upper left corner of the “Schrei” original – which means: “Can only have been painted by a madman!” ©

 The  sentence was written in pencil on the color of the painting after Munch had finished the work.

Munch feared for his mental health, as the background of the picture tells us: A bridge, which is actually a path, gives a precarious location. It is the view from a hill in front of Oslo, where not only a slaughterhouse was, but also the psychiatric hospital for women. Munch’s younger sister was interned here. ©

 The  older sister had died of consumption. ©

 The  mother of tuberculosis when Munch was five. Death and suffering shaped the family – and Munch’s work.

Manuscript and events of the time of origin


 The  origin of the sentence has long been puzzled. ©

 The re is no doubt that Munch scribbled on his work himself, says Mai Britt Guleng, who made the inscription more clearly visible with the help of an infrared camera and analyzed the handwriting. Because of the handwriting itself as well as events of the time of its creation, it was said that the inscription came from Munch.


 The  question remains, why Munch scribbled on his work. Guleng also has a theory on this. ©

 The  work, painted in 1893, was shown for the first time in Munch’s homeland, Norway, in 1895 after several international exhibitions – and evoked devastating reviews. ©

 The  fearful, even ghostly grimace against the background of a blood-red sky heralded expressionism and, among other things, shaped pop culture. But contemporaries were less friendly. One could no longer regard Munch as a “serious man with a normal brain”, said the critic Henrik Grosch at the time.

Guleng believes that is why he scrawled his “scream” – “as an ironic comment, but at the same time as an expression of his vulnerability.”


 The  Scream” is one of the most famous motifs in art history. Munch painted a total of four versions of it; besides the original, the later version from 1910 is one of the most famous of these paintings.


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Munchs Scream crazy painter


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