One of the most emblematic paintings “The Scream” has always had a mysterious inscription, which turned out to be made not by anyone but by its author Edward Munch.
The infrared scans of the work reveal a small and barely noticeable sentence written on the painting, confusing the art world and starting the debate – who wrote it on it.
Now a study by the Norwegian National Museum has revealed that the mysterious inscription on the painting “The Scream” by Edward Munch was made by the artist himself, the BBC reported, quoted by BTA.
Specialists from the museum analyzed the handwriting and compared it with the diaries and letters of the artist.
The words “Can only be drawn by a madman” are written in pencil in the upper left corner of the picture “The Scream”. They are barely visible, but so far there have been many speculations as to whether it was an act of vandalism or written by Munch himself, who is known to have had mental health problems.
The “cry” is the personification of human anxiety. The painting was first exhibited in Munch’s hometown – Oslo, then Christiania in 1893. It provoked criticism and speculation about the mental state of the artist. Edward Munch was very hurt by them, his diaries reveal.
However, there is something true in fairy tales. Munch’s father and sister suffered from depression, and he himself developed a nervous breakdown in 1908. The family’s history is sad – his mother and older sister died when he was 14 and his father 12 years later. Another of his sisters was admitted to hospital with bipolar disorder.
“For as long as I can remember, I have suffered from deep anxiety, which I try to express in my art,” Munch wrote. “Without this anxiety and illness, I would be like a ship without a rudder.”
The painting “The Scream” is undergoing conservation before being exhibited at the new National Museum, which will open in the Norwegian capital next year.