The Scream 1910?
The Scream is undoubtedly Munch’s most famous motif. It belongs to a series of motifs that Munch developed in Berlin and Åsgårdsstrand in the 1890’s. Munch later gave the series the title Frieze of Life, and described this pictorial cycle as a poem of love, life and death.
Munch produced several versions of The Scream. Two of them are paintings, where one belongs to the National Gallery in Oslo, and the second to the Munch Museum.
The Scream is based on an experience Munch had when he was walking with two friends in Ekebergåsen on the outskirts of Christiania. He described his experience in several texts:
I was out walking 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 angst - and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature.
The Scream has been interpreted as the mind vision of the modern angst-ridden human being, for whom God is dead and materialism is of no comfort.
The motif has constantly been copied, caricatured and commercialised in numerous ways, and is undoubtedly one of the most famous motifs in the world of art. The popularity it has gained demonstrates its universality and shows how people take a keen interest in it, even today.