On February 22nd, the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo, Norway, announced the discovery of a phrase hidden in the famous painting “The Scream”, by the artist Edvard Munch. According to researchers, “Can only have been painted by a madman” can be found scribbled in pencil in the upper left corner of the artwork.

The painting “The Scream” was first exhibited in Oslo in 1893. The artist had been inspired after a walk with friends, when he felt tired and sick. In the painting, you see a man with his hands on his face, screaming, with distorted scenery around him. At the time, many experts criticized Munch, saying the work appeared to belong to a troubled man. Researchers believe the secret phrase was written afterwards by the painter who had felt bothered by the criticism.

Because of the effects of time, the message has been barely visible to the bare eye. That is why an analysis with infrared light was carried out. The first hypothesis was that it was vandalism. After comparing the handwriting in his diary, it has been concluded that it was the painter who wrote it.

Who was Edvard Munch?

Munch was born in Löten, Norway in 1863. In addition to “The Scream”, he painted other well-known works, including  ”Weeping Nude” and “The Sick Child”. His work influenced a movement of artists known today as German expressionism. Munch died of pneumonia in 1944.

1) In what year was “The Scream” exhibited for the first time?
a) 1902
b) 1863
c) 1893
d) 1944

2) Do you like to express yourself through paintings and drawings? Why?


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