One version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream is going up on auction at Sotheby’s soon, May 2nd. As one of the most recognizable images in art, and the only privately owned version, it should be interesting to see what it sells for. The history of this piece, this particular one is pastel on board, is very intriguing. Like most masterpieces, there is this air of mystery that surrounds the image and I find it so interesting to see the different ways people try to interpret its meaning. The piece has a history of being stolen as well, although I don’t believe this version ever was; there are four versions total. I remember years back reading an article where scientists has determined that a volcano had erupted elsewhere in the globe and the sky in Norway could have been bright reds when Munch did the piece. Honestly, for me I don’t need that information. The reason the piece has so much allure is why it’s so famous, no science can explain the X Factor, it just is in my opinion.
This specific version of The Scream has been privately owned by a family that was close to Munch. An interesting and unique part of this piece is that it comes with a short poem written by the artist as well as the original frame which was hand painted by Munch. These are the things I love about works of art, irregularities that show signs of the artist. This is why in my own work I try to incorporate little things that people may not notice, but a couple people will.
The poem goes like this: “I felt a whiff of Melancholy — I stood / Still, deathly tired”
The Scream, pastel on board, Edvard Munch 1895.