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Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” Critique


Edvard Munch created the iconic picture titled “The Scream” in 1893. The author wrote that he gained inspiration during his walk with friends in Oslo. While he was out for a walk at sunset, the light from the setting sun painted the clouds blood red. It created such a powerful impression on Edvard Munch that he depicted his ideas in four different versions of the artwork. The picture seems to be the author’s attempt to illustrate the screaming horror of nature that he experienced during this walk.

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The piece’s style provides an impression of a lucid dream or nightmare. Blurred and distorted shapes create dizzy feelings and give a sense of movement. The emphasis lies on the fear represented through both the screaming face in the middle of the composition and the bloody skies at the top. The attention locks on the screaming face with the help of almost all the lines pointing at it, while the sky is emphasized by the contrast of its colors with the blue fiords underneath. The depressive image is amplified by the contrast between the distorted shape of the screaming person and his normal companions depicted on the left.


This piece of art may serve as the author’s illustration of his fear imposed by the essence of nature and provide an insight into his mental struggle. The picture shows how easily a human being may experience an existential horror when left alone, even for a moment, with nature. Interestingly, the hauling figure may not be the only screaming object in the composition since the blood-red skies seem to scream as well. Perhaps, it represents the author’s idea that the source of fear lies in the essence of the world. Combined with the feeling of loneliness, the work provides a complete image of Edvard Munch’s worries.


I like this iconic masterpiece of Edvard Munch for its ability to trigger deep emotions and accurately describe the feeling of horror. It is not surprising that it became so famous since there is no other example of such an extraordinary depiction of fear. I also can not add anything regarding the potential ways to improve the picture since it is incredibly abstract and personal. I believe the author’s ability to illustrate his fears makes this picture a true masterpiece.

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