Edvard Munch, born December 12, 1863 in Loten Norway, suffered through many trials in his life time. Edvard experienced the tragedy of his mother’s death from tuberculosis, the death of his sister from tuberculosis, the death of his brother from pneumonia, and another sister having been institutionalized for mental illness. Throughout his life he internally faced many demons which lead to the creations of some of his most famous and incredible works of art. It was from 1889-1892 that Munch embarked on the most turbulent time of his artistic career. During this time that he released a series of paintings which he called “Frieze of Life” expressing 3 different themes, love, anxiety, and death. “The Scream” (also known as “The Cry” 1893) went on to become Munch’s most famous painting he had ever made. “The Scream” was not a reflection of what was going on at the time but rather his inner hell. With Munch’s ability to tell a story through “The Scream”, the importance of building a connection, sharing his reality through emphasis on expression, and incorporating intricate detail, all played a large role in its creation.
When it comes to the connection aspect of this piece, Munch used a great sense of imagery to welcome the viewer in. This painting speaks so many volumes that in order for the viewer to gain full understanding of its meaning, they must first start to form their own ideas, which then builds a connection, which then leads into the viewer’s ability to relate. It creates a feeling as if someone out there gets it and is going through similar situations. The act of knowing and understanding what the individual in the painting is feeling, is something remarkable and a skill not many artist are able to master. “The Scream” can be labeled as an expressionist piece. At the time of its creation, “The Scream” was distinguishable from any other art work being created. When many artist tried unprejudiced approach, Munch depicted the raw truth. This painting is used as a form of communication between the viewer and the creator, allowing us to not only see but feel what it is he was feeling at the time of its creation. In the painting the location appears to be on top of a hill, which has been said to be located in Ekeberg, Norway. At the bottom of this hill was a madhouse where patients like Munches sister was kept, and a slaughterhouse where the sounds of animals being killed can be heard. Moved by not only his inner turmoil but the screams being heard “The Scream” was created. (Totallyhistory 5) In a diary entry Munch wrote, he stated exactly how this piece of art came to be, "One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord; the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked.” This became “The Scream” This memory was later rendered by Munch as a poem, which he hand-painted onto the frame of the 1895 pastel version of the work: “I was walking along a path with two friends - the sun was setting - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city - my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature." (Popsportsnyc 4)
The detail of this painting conveys a deeper message then what the eye may see. “The Scream” In the painting stands a genderless individual with a pale face standing next to a wide open area with a view of a frantic environment. This individual has been compared to a person who suffers from depersonalization disorder, which is the feeling of confusion of one’s self and environment. Munch suffered from agoraphobia, the...
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