The most intriguing details in masterpiece “The Scream”
Posted On: 21:39:06 - 06/11/2015 - Viewed: 878
Bought at auction in Sotheby's, New York, for $119.9m (£74m) in 2012, “The Scream” – Edvard Munch will join a select group of works that have sold for more than $100m
Bought at auction in Sotheby's, New York, for $119.9m (£74m) in 2012, “The Scream” – Edvard Munch will join a select group of works that have sold for more than $100m. Here, Jonathan Jones analyses its most intriguing details.
Two people in the background
The figures in the background seem as melancholy and lost as the screamer. In a painting of Oslo city centre Munch shows a whole crowd of zombie-like yellow faced people on the way home from work. The misery of the other people in this scene is important as it shows Munch is not portraying a private crisis but what he sees as the modern condition.
Mustard and orange uneasily combine in a sky that is fiery without being beautiful, turbulent without being dynamic, in fact not a natural sky at all but an inner mood. Munch expresses the narcissism of despair when everything, even the light of the sky, seems to mirror the self.
The eerie ship on the fjord looks like Dracula’s vessel come to bring death. The sea looks utterly still, and lifeless, like a puddle of tears.
This face does not scream. The strange shape of the ghoulish head, like a ripple, emanates from the open mouth. This is scream of nature, the sound of the scream vibrates through every muscle turning the face itself into an echo of natural shriek into silent.
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