WARSAW — Wedged on the most famous list, between “The Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci and “The Last Supper,” also by Da Vinci, you will find the second most famous painting in the world.
In the world’s second most famous painting you will find an extreme juxtaposition of a very different style of work in a painting that has been stolen, retrieved and stolen again.
Edward Munch painted “The Scream” in 1893, and stirred up controversy and wild guesses as to what his intentions were. Many were flabbergasted and confused as to how to interpret this painting. The face peering out from this impressionistic scene looks a little like a skeletal alien from outer space that has arrived at earth to find the culture and existence horrifying. Several variations of this painting were done by Munch. This particular one, done in tempera, oil and pastel on cardboard resides in the National Gallery of Art in Oslo, Norway.
Of the other variations, a nearly identical version Munch created using pastel on cardboard sold in 2012, at an auction for almost $120 million. At that time this became the fourth highest bid ever achieved at an auction for a painting.
The Munch painting is far simpler in design than either of Da Vinci’s masterpieces with the main figure being the screamer, then other background items of a bridge, a fjord and hills and an almost impossible sky of curved orange, red, yellow and teal lines streaking through it.
In 1994, the version of “The Scream” in the provided photo was stolen from the National Art Gallery in Oslo. It was recovered after the museum refused to pay a ransom only to be stolen again in 2004, along with another painting. Both were recovered two years later.
Munch wrote about this painting in his diary dated January 1892, “One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became ‘The Scream.’”
Marilyn Kruger art exhibit opens this month at Warsaw City Hall Gallery 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. More about Kruger will come in a future column. The exhibit will be available September and October.
Sarah Creason will be the September featured artist at Lakeland Art Gallery. The exhibit is titled “Sarah Creason and others inspired by her.” Creason is amazing both as an artist and as a person anyone would love to know. Be sure to visit her exhibit and see her work along with items she has influenced that are done by her friends.
Elkhart County competition is now open for entries with $30,000 in prizes. Contact Midwest Museum of American Art, Elkhart.
For more information contact artist/author, Darla McCammon at [email protected] or website, www.darlamc.com.