Edvard Munch's The Scream

Heather Sandoval
The primary author is the individual who drafted the first version of this section; a section that could have been modified since it was originally published.

The Scream is a famous painting in 1893 by Edvard Munch. The painting is said to be depicted after a real life experience that Munch had. He is screaming as the two people that he was with are walking away from him. As you notice, they are crossing a bridge which could signal some sort of change or transition. I think some people would consider the scream to be a scream due to isolation but I feel more so that he feels unheard. He is screaming and no one seems to hear it.

In his diaries, Edvard Munch said that he had been struggling with insanity on a personal level as well as through his family. It seems as though this painting may depict how he was feeling emotionally at the time. His sister was actually hospitalized for insanity at the time when Munch was painting The Scream. The mental asylum was not too far from where Munch stayed at the time of this painting. This could have played a role in his feelings while painting The Scream.

Another thing that we have learned from Munch's diary is that the idea for The Scream came to him while he was looking down over a Norwegian landscape from an elevation. While we may think that this scene would be something beautiful, Munch's idea of nature was a lot different than most.

"I was walking down the road with two friends when the sun set; suddenly, the sky turned red as blood. I stopped and leaned against the fence, feeling unspeakably tired. Tongues of fire and blood stretched over the bluish black fjord. My friends went on walking, while I lagged behind, shivering with fear. Then I heard the enormous infinite scream of nature."

When it comes to the person in the painting, we see that there is no gender depicted. I feel that this is how the painting may have influenced Nick Sousanis in his book Unflattening. On page 7, you see the faces of the people being shown in the book. These faces look a lot like the face in the painting: nameless, ageless, and genderless. Also, if you look at the picture on page 18, you see the same face but it looks like the face is fading away into darkness. This could be how Munch felt when he was painting The Scream. No one hears his scream; maybe it's in his head and just like the face in the book he is simply just fading away.

For Further Reading

    Shabi, K. "Meaning of the Scream (1893) Painting by Edvard Munch Art Analysis." Legomeneon. N.p., 12 June 2013. Web. 11 May 2015.





The Scream