On This Day

The Scream

The Scream, pastel on cardboard by Edvard Munch
The Scream, pastel on cardboard by Edvard Munch

Historical Context

"The Scream" remains Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's most famous image and one of the most famous in modern art. The artist first painted it in 1893 but there are four versions, two in pastel and two in paint and a limited number of prints were also made.

Although a work in the Expressionistic style, the work depicts an actual landscape - Kristiania Fjord seen from Ekeberg near Oslo. The figure in the foreground though is ambiguous and the viewer is unable to tell if it is male, female, young or old. A year earlier Munch recorded his inspiration for the work, during a walk he wrote "I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature".

Painting Info

Artist: Edvard Munch
Location painted: London, England, United Kingdom

Related Events

  • 1994-02-12 "The Scream" by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch (1893 pastel version) is stolen in Oslo
  • 1994-05-07 Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream" is recovered 3 months after it was stolen
  • 2004-08-22 "The Scream" (1910 painted version) and "Madonna", two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from the Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway.
  • 2006-08-31 Stolen on August 22, 2004, Edvard Munch's famous painting "The Scream" is recovered from a raid by Norwegian police. The painting was said to be in a better-than-expected condition.
  • 2012-05-02 A pastel version of "The Scream", by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch sells at auction for $119,922,500

Historical Paintings