Friday, April 05, 2013

Inspired By: Edvard Munch ( A Tale Of Two Screams)

"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

~Woody Allen


The other day, while in San Mateo, I spotted a face in a tree. At first I thought it would be a pretty good addition to my series "A Face In The Crowd." If you don't remember that series, it basically consists of faces I have seen in odd or unusual places. There are a few examples on my sidebar, under the My Photography section. Anyway, after I took the photo I had the strange feeling that I had seen this face before. It was definitely familiar beyond the general facial features. After studying it for a while I realized that, at least to me, the face in the tree bore somewhat of a resemblance to Edvard Munch's "The Scream."

Admittedly, The Scream has never really been one of my favorite paintings, however when I have come across it, it has always captured my imagination. Why was the man in the painting in so much turmoil? Had he just witnessed something dreadful? Where was he? What is directly behind him? Why is the sky orange? Is he transitioning between this life and the next? What could possibly bring about the kind of emotion being felt by the man in the painting? I have always wanted to know more!

And isn't that what art is all about?

YES! And it kind of tickled me when I realized the face I was seeing reminded me of  The Scream because it meant that I would probably spend a little while yesterday afternoon, doing some research into the Edvard Munch's masterpiece. And I did! I learned that there are actually 4 versions of The Scream, the original title for this series was Der Schrei der Natur. In his diary, Munch described his inspiration for the image...

"One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and 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."

Nice 22 January 1892

"Whistler's Mother, Wood's American Gothic, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and Edvard Munch's The Scream have all achieved something that most paintings... regardless of their historical importance, beauty, or monetary value... have not: they communicate a specific meaning almost immediately to almost every viewer. These few works have successfully made the transition from the elite realm of the museum visitor to the enormous venue of popular culture."

~Martha Tedeschi (Author)

I came across many different theories as to why the figure in the painting seems to be in such despair. One such theory was that Munch was depicting, of all things, the despair of love. Yikes! I have gotten my heart stomped on once, or twice, but I don't think love has ever left me so devastated that this is how I viewed it! LOL. Of course, is there anything more fun than a broken heart? Hell, I heard on a documentary a while back that it is true, a broken heart can indeed actually kill you! Perhaps Edvard Munch knew a little about that, or maybe he was inspired not so much by the pain of romantic love, but rather by the pain of losing anyone you love.


I know I have often felt that love can be a much more painful emotion than hatred.

Shrug again.


Anyway, there is a lot to discover about The Scream, so I will save some details back in case you would like to spend a Saturday or Sunday learning about it for yourself. Personally, I can't think of a nicer way to spend a weekend day! Be it this work of art, or a different one you have been wanting to know more about.

So tell me...

What comes to mind when you view Edvard Munch's, The Scream?
Do you have a favorite artwork or artist that you would like to know more about? If so, who?
What is the last artwork you spent time researching?

Tell me what or who inspires you!

Mood: Curious

~Me :)

Reminder: Don't forget to join us tomorrow (Saturday) for our next Round Robin Challenge! This time around we will be tackling... "Threads." You can find out all about it here.

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