by Edvard Munch, 1893-1920 (4 versions) Norwegian Expressionist
COVID & The Voiceless Scream
The iconic, haunting face in this painting seems very appropriate for the whole world right now! The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the world full force, shutting down schools, churches, restaurants—even whole countries! While grounded in the real world, the subject departs from visual reality with a voiceless scream. Sound familiar?! There are many, many interpretations of this painting, each valid. But for today, in this time and place, my computer screen is silent, but the posts on our Face book posts literally scream!
Munch painted 4 variations of this scene (actually 5 if you count a lithograph). I saw this one on a trip to Oslo Norway in 2004 (National Museum). Interestingly, soon after, it was stolen! (But recovered, fortunately) The others are in the Munch Museum, Oslo.
The 5 include the most famous one, in the National Museum: tempera on cardboard (1893); and the others in the Munch Museum: crayon on cardboard (1893), pastel on cardboard (1895), lithograph (1895) and tempera on board (1910). The pastel was auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1212 for £ 74 million.
A trip to Oslo is not complete without seeing The Scream (all variations) in person!
– National Museum in Oslo, Norway – nasjonalmusee.no/en
– Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway – munchmuseet.no/en