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Amazing facts of World-Famous painting by Edvard Munch, "The Scream"

Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" is a universally recognized masterpiece, often cited as an icon of existential dread and modern anxiety. While many are familiar with its haunting image, there are several intriguing facts about the painting that are less widely known. Here are a few things you might not know about "The Scream." As explained by famous new-generation Indian artist Shantala Palat in this blog.

Famous new generation Indian artist Shantala Palat shares amazing facts of world famous painting Edvard Munch the scream


What are some of the facts about the painting “The Scream”?

Shantala Palat provides some interesting anecdotes pertaining to the famous painting. These are:


The Dramatic Thefts of Edvard Munch’s "The Scream"

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" has been stolen twice in dramatic heists. The first theft occurred in 1994, when Norwegian footballer Pål Enger set up a ladder, climbed through a window of the National Gallery, and took the painting. Enger, who hid the artwork in his living room table, was sentenced to seven years in prison. He later claimed that the theft brought worldwide attention to "The Scream," praising its powerful symbolism.

In 2004, an armed robbery took place at the Munch Museum in the Tøyen district, where two of Munch's masterpieces, "The Scream" and "Madonna," were stolen in broad daylight. The paintings were recovered in August 2006, and three people were convicted for the robbery. Enger, known for also stealing Munch's "Vampire" in 1998, became an artist during his prison sentence. However, he was caught again in 2015 for stealing additional artworks, including five pieces by Norwegian artist Pushwagner.


The Value of "The Scream"

In May 2012, the only privately owned version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" was sold for NOK 689 million at Sotheby's in New York. Norwegian shipowner and collector Petter Olsen, who sold the painting, expressed satisfaction with the sale. Art collector Leon Black later confirmed he was the new owner of the iconic artwork.


"The Scream" Was Painted on Cardboard

All four versions of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" are painted on cardboard, a fragile material. This unusual choice raises questions, as cardboard is more susceptible to damage from light, temperature, humidity, and oxygen. These factors necessitate special protection for the paintings. The reason for Munch's choice of cardboard over canvas remains unknown.



"The Scream" Was Not Painted in Norway

Many believed Edvard Munch painted "The Scream" in Oslo, inspired by his notes from 1892 describing a blood-red sky over Ekebergåsen. However, Munch most likely painted "The Scream" in Nice, France, in the late autumn of 1893.


Multiple Versions of "The Scream"

When people think of "The Scream," they usually picture the colourful version with a vivid red, yellow, and blue background. However, Edvard Munch created four versions: two in tempera and oil, and two in coloured pencil and pastel. Additionally, there is a black-and-white lithograph that has been printed in various editions.


"The Scream" Inspired the Famous "Scream" Films

Munch's "The Scream" inspired the mask in the "Scream" films, starting with the first release in 1996. Director Wes Craven admired Munch's work and found the mask's resemblance to the painting's iconic face compelling.


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