A visual representation of inner hysteria, this painting has its roots in a cataclysmic volcanic eruption and has captured the attention of art thieves and Hollywood alike.
|1. Hysteria: Inspired by Gaughin and Van Gogh, Munch's painting is an example of "a quest to explore visually the most element psychological forces underlying modern civilization" (Janson 922). The screaming, distorted skull-like head channels the chaos of the crazy colorful landscape: "It has become recognised as the actual mental image of the existential angst of civilised man" (Munch Museet).|
|2. Volcanic boom & ash: Remember the Iceland volcano and all the trouble its ash caused? In 1883, the Indonesian volcano of Krakatoa had a beastly eruption: "Just after 10 a.m. on the morning of the Aug. 27 came the final, cataclysmic explosion with 26 times the power of the biggest H-bomb test" (Wired). This noise was heard all the way around the world, including Europe, thus considered one of the inspirations of "The Scream," as an example of a sound from the earth that resonates through the landscape. Closer look: Volcanic ash lingers in the air and acts as sort of a prism for sunlight, creating dramatic sunsets. Here's an example of a painting of the sky in England at the time. (Here are some pics of the sunsets from the Iceland volcano.)|
|3. On art theft & Halloween costumes: A version of "The Scream" (there are multiple version) and another of Munch's paintings were stolen from the Munch Museet in 2003 and found in 2006. "The Scream" has also inspired the mask from the perennial, never-ending "Scream" movie series. This is also one of the many masterpieces "re-enacted" by a mouse in the recent movie "Dinner For Schmucks" with Steve Carell.|
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