In the upper left corner of one of the most famous paintings in the world, you can hardly see the words: “It can only be painted by a madman!” For years, curators and art historians have wondered who wrote it.
After decades of debate, experts confirmed this week that the artist himself Edvard Munch (Edvard Munch) wrote an inscription for his most famous work, The Scream.
According to the Norwegian National Museum, Danish art critics first noticed the inscription in an exhibition in Copenhagen in 1904-it was thought that the public had written it as an act of vandalism.
The new infrared scan will not affect the painting, which shows that Munch left the sentence in the corner of the painting with a pencil after the work was completed. The museum analyzed the handwriting and compared it with Munch’s diaries and letters at the time.
Mai Britt Guleng, director of the National Museum, said: “There is no doubt that this is Munch’s work.” The handwriting itself and the events that occurred when Munch first showed the painting in Norway in 1
The museum confirmed the origin of the inscription and at the same time carried out extensive protection of the painting in preparation for installation in Oslo, Munch’s hometown next year.
Thierry Ford, the painter of the National Museum, said: “This book is always visible to the naked eye, but it is difficult to explain.” “Through a microscope, you can see that the pencil line is actually on top of the paint and Once the paint is finished, it has been applied.”
After the premiere of “The Scream” in 1895, Munch was strongly criticized, including from the art world, and there was also a medical student, Johan Scharffenberg, who questioned himself in a debate in which Munch participated. Mental state.
Henrik Grosch, the curator of the Norwegian Museum of Decorative Arts and Design at the time, wrote that Munch’s paintings showed that people can no longer “think Munch is a serious man with a normal mind”.
Over the years, Munch mentioned these comments in his notes, obviously hurt by the verdict.
Gulen of the inscription said: “In theory, Munch wrote this letter in 1895 or after after hearing Schaffenberg’s judgment on his mental health.” “It is reasonable to assume that he was after the exhibition or I did it soon after.”
Nowadays, expressionist painting has been widely praised in modern times and is considered to be a lasting expression of anxiety and pain. Munch wrote in his diary that the painting was inspired by “a burst of melancholy.”
Munch’s father and grandfather both suffered from depression, and his sister was taken to Gaustad Psychiatric Hospital. Munch was hospitalized after a nervous breakdown in 1908.
Gulun said: “The inscription can be regarded as an ironic comment, but it also expresses the fragility of the artist.” “The writing on the finished painting shows that creating for Munch is a continuous process.”
This painting is one of four paintings and few people have seen it since it was briefly stolen nearly 20 years ago. 2021, soft versionAt the Sotheby’s auction in New York-the world record at the time.