An Analysis of Edvard Munch's 1898 Painting "Scream".

An Analysis of Edvard Munch's 1898 Painting "Scream".

The Scream, created in 1910, is regarded by many as one of the most powerful visual artworks ever created. It shocked the public and quickly became one of the most recognizable and instantly recognizable images in the world, after being displayed in a single London exhibition in 1912. Munch's painting, The Scream is, in large part, a testament to his lifelong interest in experiencing the world through the senses. The Scream conveys exquisite nuances of expression and emotion through the use of selective color, the intense use of line, the gesturing of the paintbrush, and even the patterned arrangement of dots. As such, it has become one of the most reproduced and best loved works of art, and it has inspired millions of people to connect with the world in a more personal way.

The Scream is a painting by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. The painting depicts a woman screaming, "The scream of the woman in the red dress who, on the evening of July 28, 1888, witnessed the eruption of the volcano Mount Lassen and became the first person to film a live volcanic eruption. The painting itself is a metaphor, showing an erupting volcano and a woman’s face contorted in distress, with the earth spewing out ash and rock. In reality, this is a depiction of the photographer’s blindness and his distress at his situation. Munch was in the midst of going blind, so he was resorting to using his other senses, including his sense of hearing.

Edvard Munch

The setting of The Scream was suggested to Munch during a walk along a road overlooking the city of Oslo, apparently upon Munch's return from a mental hospital where his sister, Laura Catherine, had been admitted. It is unknown whether the artist observed an actual person in anguish, but this seems unlikely; as Munch later recalled, "I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned as red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence .. shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous, infinite scream of nature."

Scream
Mount Lassen was located at the base of Mount Shasta in California's Cascade Range. It is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, which is composed primarily of volcanoes and sub-volcanic extensions. As the highest volcano east of the Sierras and the highest-elevation stratovolcano in the contiguous United States, it is easily accessible from the community, but it also presents many hazards, such as erupting, mud-flows, and rock slides. In the aftermath of the Lassen eruption, Munch exhibited a series of new works, including four new versions of his iconic painting "The Scream". In the first of the series, which is known as "The Dark Print" (1905), The woman in the red dress is seen standing alone with her foot resting on the upturned root of a tree, perhaps in preparation for taking her next step. In both versions of The Scream, Munch painted a figure isolated within a landscape of exceptional magnificence

Back to blog

Leave a comment