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.
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 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 museum believes it is likely that Munch immortalized his words on the work shortly afterwards, or maybe later.
The fact that he wrote on the finished painting shows that creating has been a continuous process for Munch.”
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