The Scream of Edvard Munch
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The Scream was made by the Norwegian painter and printmaker Edvard Much (1863-1944). For years he had suffered from anxiety, excessive drinking, hallucinations and feelings of persecution.
"Illness, insanity, and death were the black angels that kept watch over my cradle and accompanied me all my life," he said.
Munch's depictions of intense anguish greatly influenced development of German expressionism in the early 1900s. But he himself entered the clinic of Dr. Daniel Jacobson in 1908, and his treatment included some "electrification", that is, sending electric currents through the brain, which was fashionable for mind conditions at the time. He was stabilised after that.
The Scream (1893, further down) is his best-known painting of existential anguish. He created many versions of it. He appears to have drawn inspiration for it from one of the results of a volcano eruption far away. He writes on a diary page headed Nice 22.01.1892:
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.
The sky in the background of the painting may reflect the effects of the volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. The ash ejected from the volcano left the sky tinted red in most of Europe and Asia for several months and caused spectacular twilights with a magnificent, blood-red sky. Munch never forgot that sky, and why should he?
Munch explicitly mentioned that 1884 was the year of the original inspirations for three of the paintings in The Frieze of Life, where the most famous version of the Scream appears. The end result was an agonized figure against a blood red skyline. And who is screaming? Is it the depicted person, or is it nature? Or both? And is it Munch himself? Or a memory of a Peruvian mummy Munch had seen exhibited? It could be "a bit of this, a bit of that, and none can tell full well". In other words, the matter is open to interpretations.
The scene of the Scream includes a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedøya, on the slopes of a 140 m high hill called the Ekeberg. From this spot, Munch's direction of view in the drawing was toward the southwest, which is where the Krakatoa twilights appeared in the winter of 1883-1884.
The Famous Scream Painting
The scene of the Scream includes a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedøya, on the slopes of a 140 m high hill called the Ekeberg.
The Scream has been used in advertising, in cartoons, in anime, and has fascinated film and television. Ghostface, the psychotic murderer in a series of horror movies, wears a Halloween mask inspired by the central figure in the painting. Reproductions of this mask are now very popular and common masks in the real world.
A MINISTER WOUND UP the services one morning by saying, "Next Sunday I'm going to preach on the subject of liars. And in this connection, as a preparation, I should like you all to read the 17th Chapter of Mark."
On the following Sunday, the preacher rose to begin, saying, "Now then, all of you who have done as I asked and read the 17th Chapter of Mark, please raise your hands."
Nearly every hand in the congregation went up. Then said the preacher, "You're the misled people I want to talk to. There's no 17th Chapter of Mark."
No teeth!AN EVANGELIST WAS EXHORTING his hearers to flee from the wrath to come. "I warn you," he thundered, "that there will be weeping, and wailing and gnashing of teeth!"
At this moment an old woman in the gallery stood up. "Sir," she shouted, "I have no teeth."
"Madam," returned the evangelist, "teeth will be provided."
Best scream of Spain ever?
KING PHILIP OF SPAIN was in such a deplorable state of despondency from
ill-health, that he refused to be shaved. Now the Queen ordered a concert in a room
adjoining the king's chamber, and the famous singer Farinelli sang one of his best airs.
It so overcame the king that he desired the singer to be brought into his presence. Not
only that, he also promised to grant him any reasonable request he might make. The
performer then begged of the king to allow himself to be shaved. The king agreed.
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