“The Scream,” by Edvard Munch is the Mona Lisa for our time. What do you see in it? Many people believe it shows a man screaming. Not so. It’s a person hearing a “scream.”
The painting is based on Munch’s own experience of a scream piercing through nature while on a walk by a fjord overlooking Oslo in 1892. His two companions—seen in the background—had left him.
Munch was walking by a fjord overlooking Oslo in 1892 when the sky turned blood red and his mind filled with sudden anxiety. That’s where the inspiration for the painting came from.
As Leonardo Da Vinci evoked a Renaissance ideal of serenity and self-control, Munch defined how we see our own age, wracked with anxiety and uncertainty.