Et is a scribble by the master himself: a barely visible sentence on Edvard Munch’s “ The Scream” was written by the artist himself on the world-famous masterpiece. This is the conclusion the Norwegian National Museum in Oslo has come to after new investigations, after years of speculation about the origin of the small lettering on the oil painting.
“Kan kun være malet af en gal Mand!” Is written in Norwegian in the upper left corner of the “Schrei” original – that is, translated: “Can only have been painted by a madman!” The sentence barely noticeable to the naked eye was written in pencil on the color of the painting after Munch had finished the work.
The origin of the sentence has long been puzzled. In preparation for the installation of the work in the new National Museum, which is due to open in Oslo in 2022, the original from 1893 was thoroughly examined. Both the manuscript itself and events from the time of its creation left no doubt that the inscription came from Munch, the National Museum said on Monday.
“ 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.