Artworks
The Scream

Quick Fact

Contributor

The Scream of Nature, The Shriek, The Cry. An iconic image and not just because of that scary movie. This here is the Edvard Munch original.

Munch said his inspiration came one evening when he was walking with some friends and the sun began to set. The sky turned the color of blood and so, naturally, he painted the clouds as actual blood. "The color shrieked," he wrote in his journal, "for several years I was almost mad…nature was screaming in my blood." Yikes.

Like the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, The Scream is one of the few paintings that bridges the gap between stuffy museums and popular culture. A simple internet search can find a countless number of parodies. I'm sure you've seen at least one version with a Simpsons character. My personal favorite is the one with Macaulay Culkin from Home Alone

There's even two versions of the original artwork, and both have been stolen (in the literal sense, not just for internet points). One was snatched from the National Gallery of Norway in 1994 and the other from the Munch Museum in 2004. Both were later recovered, and hopefully museum security in Scandinavia has been beefed up. It's no wonder people want to take it, recently it was auctioned off for $120 million dollars. So just imagine what you might get for it on the black market. Not that I'm getting any ideas...