8 Astonishing Facts You Might Have Missed About the Scream Painting

How much do we all know about paintings unless we have to read about them for school, an art project, or to impress our friends?

Well, it’s high time we get our facts straight, mostly because they’re very interesting!

Today, we bring to you some amazing facts about The Scream painting, read along!

The first thing we want to begin by saying is that the painting was created by a Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch in 1893. In Norwegian, the title of the painting is Skrik (Shriek). This name will begin to make sense when you read the entire article!

Let’s get started, shall we!


  1. The Appropriate Response

According to research by Professor Margret Livingstone from the Harvard neurobiology department exaggerated faces tend to make the macaque monkeys brains respond quicker. This was observed especially with the elongated face in The Scream. The caricature of emotions works well with humans as well and it’s almost like we’ve been wired to respond to painting and images like The Scream.

8 Astonishing Facts You Might Have Missed About the Scream Painting

 Image Credit: BBC


  1. Sharing Inspiration

According to the executive producer, Steven Moffat, The Scream, in parts, inspired Doctor Who, in the re-launched sci-fi series. The look of the aliens known as the Silence were inspired by Munch’s painting.


  1. The Name Game

Munch shared a poem through the frame of the painting, "I was walking along the road with two Friends / the Sun was setting – The Sky turned a bloody red / And I felt a whiff of Melancholy – I stood / Still, deathly tired – over the blue-black / Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire / My Friends walked on – I remained behind / – shivering with Anxiety – I felt the great Scream in Nature – EM.” This comes to show that the name he was going for was really The Scream in Nature and not The Scream.


  1. Multiple Pieces

We were shocked as well when we found out this particular fact! The Norwegian artist didn’t paint The Scream in one go. He created a quartet of pieces of the same scene. He created a crayon version and a painted one in 1893. After that, in 1895 Munch made a pastel version similar to the previous ones. Finally, in 1910, he created The Scream with tempera paints on board.


  1. The Theft

In 2004, two masked men stole The Scream in broad daylight from Oslo’s Munch Museum. Along with that, they also stole Madonna. In spite of all the investigation and being offered a reward of about $313,000 U.S., the men hadn’t been caught. In August 2006, Mars Inc. offered as sweet reward in exchange of the paintings. While this was a marketing ploy, it happened to work! One of the convicts revealed the location of the paintings and they went back to Munch Museum.


The convict asked for 2.2 tons of M&Ms and conjugal visits. Interesting….


  1. The Hidden Meaning

Sue Prideaux, a Munch scholar has placed the making of The Scream at a time where the artist was broke, living in the fear of suffering with mental illness, and a freshly failed lover. The bridge shown in the painting was famous for being known as a spot where people came to end their miseries. It was also the spot which was near a slaughter house and an insane asylum, where the artist’s schizophrenic sister lived.


  1. Another Inspiration

The Scream, painting, is one the favorites of the director of Scream, the movie. The director, Wes Craven, said that he took inspiration from the painting to create the mask that Ghostface wears in the movie.

 8 Astonishing Facts You Might Have Missed About the Scream Painting

Image Credit: Wikipedia


  1. Taking Inspiration

According to an art historian, Robert Rosenblum, Munch might have taken inspiration of the face from a mummy he saw displayed in a Paris museum. The hands of a Chachapoyas warrior ware cemented in place with the mouth in an open position, as if shrieking.


How about that!

We’ve always heard that inspiration can strike at any time, anywhere! Edvard Munch is one of the many artists that has proven it.

Will you also be on the lookout for inspiration from now on?

We’d like to see you succeed in your artistic journey!


Would you also like to get to know a little bit about the Mona Lisa?

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