The mystery of Munch’s “scream” has been solved


Hard to see with the naked eye, there is a strange sentence in Edvard Munch’s world-famous painting “©

 The  Scream”. For a long time it was puzzled as to how the message got there. Art experts have now got to the bottom of the matter with infrared scans.

“Could only have been painted by a madman!” ©

 The  art world has been discussing for a long time how this little sentence came about in Edvard Munch’s world-famous work “©

 The  Scream”. ©

 The  responsible museum in Norway now makes it clear: ©

 The  scribble comes from the master himself.

A puzzling and barely visible lettering on the original of the masterpiece “© The  Scream” was written on the oil painting by Munch himself. With the help of infrared images, the Norwegian National Museum in Oslo found out that the sentence came from Munch himself. “©

 The re is no doubt that the inscription is Munch’s own,” said curator Mai Britt Guleng on Monday. ©

 The  handwriting itself and the events of the time of its creation underpin this statement. “Art secret solved”, the “New York Times” ruled.


 The  Scream” – in Norwegian “Skrik” – is one of the most famous motifs in art history. It has become a timeless expression of human fear and even a template for various emojis on smartphones that are supposed to express fear. Munch painted four “Schrei” versions, besides the original from 1893, the later version from 1910 is one of the most famous of them.

Hidden in heaven


 The  little secret of the “Schrei” original can be found in the reddish sky in the upper left corner of the painting. “Kan kun være malet af en gal Mand!” Is written there in Norwegian. Translated this means: “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 it. How the note got there has long been speculation. One theory was that an indignant bystander had once written the sentence in the sky of the “Scream” original. Others speculated that the tiny lettering, first discovered in 1904, came from the painter himself.


 The  Norwegian art experts can now confirm this theory. On the one hand, thanks to the infrared images, they were able to compare the handwriting with notes and letters from Munch; on the other hand, they base their findings on an event in 1895, when Munch first showed the work in his home town of Oslo, which was then still called Kristiania.

Speculation about the artist’s state of mind


 The  Scream” had triggered a lot of criticism and speculation about Munch’s state of mind at the time, which led, among other things, to a young medical student named Johan Scharffenberg referring to Munch’s works at a discussion evening as evidence that the artist was not quite in his right mind. This hurt Munch very much, as he wrote in letters and diary entries, according to the museum. Both his father and his sister suffered from depression, Munch himself was hospitalized in 1908 after a nervous breakdown.


 The  student’s judgment is said to be behind the mysterious sentence on the masterpiece. ©

 The  museum believes it is likely that Munch immortalized his words on the work shortly afterwards, or maybe later.

What was it all about in the end? That’s in the eye of the beholder. “©

 The  inscription can be read as an ironic comment, but at the same time as an expression of the artist’s vulnerability”, curator Guleng was quoted in a museum announcement. “©

 The  fact that he wrote on the finished painting shows that creating has been a continuous process for Munch.”

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mystery Munchs scream solved


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