Edvard Munch's Painting "The Scream"

Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream”, painted in 1893 is a clear and genuine portrait of individuals and their lives concerning their saddest and darkest feelings which are buried in their hearts only to emerge later into their lives. For many years, Edvard Munch had gone through difficult and stressful lifestyle of drinking and feelings of depression. “The Scream” is, therefore, a title of an expressionist painting which depicts an agonized person against a bluish reddish sky. The landscape of the painting is based in the Oslo fjord in Norway.  Through this piece of art, Munch not only turns deep and emotional feelings each individual has about his or her life but also reflects the true emotions that a broken man undergoes through this unique, remarkable and individual artwork painting. Indeed, this art work, has expressed the emotions more than any words that could have been used. The painting is eloquently capable of penetrating into the viewers’ hearts and become one of the most recognizable paintings and famous works in the art scene. It is a masterpiece which has been interpreted and used to present the anxiety that the modern man faces in the previous and contemporary generation. 

The painting came about when Munch was walking down with two friends on the road when the sun suddenly set and the skies turned into red like blood. Tongues of blood and fire were then stretched on the blackish and bluish fjord which made Munch feel tired and heard infinite and enormous screams of nature. The painting describes the personal anguish which made Munch become almost mad for several years to come. The picture is, therefore, a reflection of how an individual can become overstretched beyond the limit when nature screams in one’s blood. The painting has effectively communicated meanings which are almost specific to any viewer who sees it for the first time. Therefore, it has made a successful and smooth transition from the realm of the elite visitor to the museum place to a culture with an enormous popular venue.   

Through highly simplified forms and bands with broad garish colors, the painting of “The Scream” depicts an agonized figure which has, through an emotional crisis been reduced to a skull that is curbed through the application of a high viewpoint. Munch used this artwork to achieve his goal of understanding the soul as well as his own personality. It is through this painting that any viewer can be able to ascertain that Munch’s anxiety was greatly attributed to agoraphobia. Through an expressive way, the painter clearly identifies the indefinable situation and emotion through this wonderful painting. The painting has a strong sense of emotions which each and every human being undergoes at one time during the life span. Various people have interestingly put forth differing interpretations and perceptions concerning this piece of art. The covering of the ears of the individual in the painting is an indication that it is not the individual in the picture who is screaming but rather, the screams emanates from the anxieties of nature which can grip an individual without the realization of the people around. Even though the painting displays multiple meanings to the viewer, the universal emotion stands out among the rest and as such, it can be easily be experienced and recognized by all the people who view it (Prelinger 143). 

 Looking at this art work has been a source of inspiration for many people because it refers to the scream on nature exhibited by individuals. The reddish sky that appeared in the painting symbolizes the volcanic eruption that was powerful in Krakatoa and, which tinted some regions of the Western hemisphere for a couple of months between 1883 and 1884. Critics have, however, argued against this interpretation claiming that Munch, being an expressive painter, could not have been keen on the literary findings that he observed. The painting also offered some source of inspiration because of the proximity of a madhouse and a slaughterhouse to the site which is clearly shown in the painting. The Peruvian Mummy, the sexless and strange creature that appears in the foreground of this work has been a source of its inspiration and also struck the imagination of Paul Gauguin, Munch’s friend, through its gesture of crouching in a fetal posture while holding the hands alongside its face.

“The Scream” just like any other written text is capable of communicating its meaning through visual text deeply beyond the mere literal implication. The painting attains this characteristic through the settings of its environment which can be compared to a person suffering from experiences related to the depersonalization disorders. Such feelings can be felt as a result of distortion of one’s self and the environment in general. “The Scream” is a painting which has properly utilized the purpose of Symbolism and Expressionism through showing emotions which Edvard felt in his hopes that any viewer looking at the artistic work would in turn become stirred and have the same feelings as well.  The emotions and inner nature aroused in this painting are therefore given priority as opposed to reality as it is depicted. Edvard Munch achieves this in “The Scream” by frequently distorting; altering and exaggerating so as to stress experiences in an emotional manner through the most concentrated and intense form (Prideaux 300).

“The Scream” is a painting which was used by Munch to portray the symbol of the modern or contemporary individual who views God the Almighty as being dead and whom materialism presents no solace. This meaning is no wonder what makes it to be the most famous artistic work that was done by Munch and which has so far become the most recognized paintings in the entire world’s art. The painting is a study of one’s own soul and own self as depicted by Munch after being stretched beyond the limit and thus leading to the screaming of one’s own blood (Prideaux 302).

Munch’s painting is seen as a painting which depicts the dilemma that confronts modern men in society. The modern man assumes that God is dead and there is nothing that has remained to replace him God.  “The scream” is thus a good painting which depicts the soul that has been pushed or stripped beyond the limit of the possibilities and as a result, became overstretched. All the creative inspirations have been no wonder been attributed to the scream of fear like nature which turns the red to wrath and which assembles to speak before thunder and storm.

In summary, this painting is an exemplary piece of art by Munch. It has a universal appeal in that it has become a conduit between soul-searching by the artist and the contemporary pop culture, which has evolved over the years. Munch’s painting is a clear reminder of how visual text can be used in communicating situations which cannot be described through the use of verbal words. The painting is a full prove that some situations and emotions are better expressed through paintings rather than through facial expressions or other forms (Munch 160). It also shows people lack of attachment to divine authority. If people knew their creator, would they scream when things go wrong or would they seek him in prayer?.

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