You’re probably familiar with Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream— yesterday it sold at auction for 120 million dollars. It is a profound painting, but do you know its inspiration? From the venerable Wikipedia, a quote from Munch’s own diary, written January 22, 1892:
“I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”
“… an infinite scream passing through nature.” That’s quite terrifying. With this message, from those who know how things shall be. We have to realize that ‘The Scream’ is a manifestation of a hellvalot of emptiness and confusion. Once understood, we will try to move forward. But the image of a man screaming on a pier, has ‘cut the nerve’ of our attempts to move ahead.
‘The Scream’ is like a razor blade, that is wielding an agenda that opens us up, and drives us to this place of desperation. Rather than turn from the pain, we turn to the place where “we think we understand”. But the panic and frightfulness are not easily subtracted out of our lives. We try to advance, but are shackled by our own confusion.
Looking at this painting, we can identify with the ‘frozenness’ of the image. We turn in refusal, for we understand the darkness. We come to the place that we fully intend to open ourselves up. But the captivity of our hearts becomes open and something that is available and accessible. It seems the ‘horror’ has an influence on our mental health.
‘The Scream’ becomes to be incredibly predictive. Any strength we might have has become empty and hollow, we are left with confusion and disorientation. The emptiness and desperation of being alone on the pier, puts us in a sense of lostness. But this painting can lead us to God. Jesus has taken our horror and absorbed it in Himself.
- Edvard Munch: A Life Reflected In Paintings (webpronews.com)
- Edvard Munch’s The Scream sells for record $119.9 million (mytechnologyworld9.blogspot.com)
- Ten Parodies of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” That We’d Rather Own for $120 Million (coedmagazine.com)
- The Scream: A brief look at the history of the famous painting (vancouversun.com)