The Scream has been the most prolific and cherished painting series by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.
Expressionism is at its best with anxiety, a sense of being overwhelmed, chaos and an intense fear is portrayed through the eyes of a sexless creature in The Scream. The red wavy sky adds to the chill that runs through the painting. Munch re-created this painting as a series in the form of oil on canvas, pastels and a large number of prints.
When Munch was asked about the inspiration for this painting, he is quoted to have said, “I was out walking with two friends; the sun began to set; suddenly the sky turned blood-red; I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on a fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and there I still stood, trembling with fear – and I sensed an endless scream passing through nature.” It is also interpreted that this painting reflected Munch’s depression due to isolation and his agoraphobia.
The popularity of The Scream is probably the reason for this work of Munch figuring repeatedly in the news for the number of theft attempts taking place and for this reason is considered one of the most vulnerable paintings as well. One of the originals was stolen in 2004 from the Edvard Munch Museum.
The Scream is considered to be one of the major sources of inspiration of modern art being a pioneer in its times. Over the years, this artwork has been used in various advertisements, promos, caricatures, television, movies and merchandise. This can in fact be easily counted to be among the top in the list of reproductions and parodies made.