Analysis of Edvard Munch's The Scream

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  • Topic: Expressionism, Edvard Munch, The Scream
  • Pages : 3 (1044 words )
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  • Published : March 26, 2013
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Analysis of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”

Just a few months ago, a painting by the famous Norwegian painter Edvard Munch titled “The Scream”, was sold in an auction for an unprecedented $120 million American dollars. Even at first glance, it is easy to notice why this artwork is so valuable and iconic. The vibrant colors used in the painting along with the emotions it conveys all stand out very distinctly. The screaming man’s expression, the colors, as well as the swirling motion of the sky, work together to invoke in its audience primal feelings. Initial impressions of the painting are often those feelings associated with the sublime, foreboding, angst, and a bit of terror, thrown in for good measure. All in all, this very famous expressionist piece of art is trying to express to its audience the absolute fearsomeness and awesomeness in nature. “The Scream” is a contrast between the vastness and majesty of nature and the insubstantiality of mankind.

“The Scream” was painted by Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910 during the Expressionist period. According to, expressionism is, “ a style of art developed in the 20th century, characterized chiefly by heavy, often black lines that define forms, sharply contrasting, often vivid colors, and subjective or symbolic treatment of thematic material” ( During this period, artists such as Munch put heavy emphasis on perspectives of the individual as well as emotional angst. The painting itself was painted on a cardboard canvas with oils and is roughly 36 inches high by 28.9 inches wide. The size of the painting shows that the “screaming” figure in the foreground is very close to lifesize, which makes it the focal point of attention, and causes the audience to first notice the figure and its chilling expression followed by the stark contrasts of light and dark behind the figure, and it is here where the painting derives much of its emotion. Behind the “screaming” man is a...
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