The Scream by Edvard Munch & National Gallery of Oslo

Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King. Today I’ll be taking you on a photographic tour of The National Gallery of Oslo, Norway and Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’.

As always, I take all the photos and videos myself on location, ensuring you get an up-close and personal view of the fascinating world of art and culture. I’ll be popping in and out with commentary as this video progresses but for now let’s take a close up look.

Edvard Munch, born on December 12, 1863, and died on January 23, 1944, was a Norwegian painter known for his significant contribution to Western art. Among his notable works is “The Scream,” created in 1893. The Scream, an iconic painting symbolizing human anxiety in art. Munch was renowned for his angst-laden depictions of love, anxiety, melancholia, and death. Munch’s work, including The Scream, greatly influenced the Expressionist movement. On August 22, 2004, armed robbers stole The Scream and another Munch painting called Madonna forcing guards to the floor. Oslo Police recovered them on August 31, 2006. My Norwegian friends told me that security used to be non existent almost.

Munch remembered strolling during sunset, witnessing the moment the sun’s fading light transformed the clouds into a vivid “blood red.” He felt a profound sensation of an “endless scream reverberating through nature.” Expressing this experience, Munch crafted two paintings and two pastel renditions, alongside a lithograph stone that produced multiple surviving prints.

In his diary in an entry headed “22 January 1892”, Munch wrote:

“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 colour shrieked. This became The Scream.”

He later described his inspiration for the image:

“I was walking along the road 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.”

By Anthony King (c)