Most people are familiar with Edvard Munch’s iconic artwork, “The Scream”. For years, this painting was a symbol of agony and anxiety because of the terrified person who was depicted screaming. At least, we believed so, up until now.
The Norwegian artist made this painting in 1893, but he also painted several more, rarely-seen black-and-white versions. One of these black and white lithographs is now displayed at The British Museum.
“This rare version of The Scream that we’re displaying at the British Museum makes clear that Munch’s most famous artwork depicts a person hearing a ‘scream’ and not, as many people continue to assume and debate, a person screaming,” Giulia Bartrum, a curator at the British Museum, told Insider.
This rare lithograph features an inscription by the artist that reads: “I felt the great scream throughout nature.”
“Munch very deliberately included the caption […] on this version to describe how his inspiration came from the anxiety he suddenly felt as he walked along a path in Oslo, a place you can still visit today”, Bartrum says.
In spite of this new finding, the iconic painting by Munch will probably always be an emblem of horrifying scream in agony.