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What Inspired Edward Munch to draw The Scream - Essay Example

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What Inspired Edward Munch to draw The Scream

He is quoted as saying “I was walking along the road with two friends—then the Sun sets—all at once the sky became blood red—and I felt overcome with melancholy. I stood still and leaned against the railing, dead tired—clouds like blood and tongues of fire hung above the blue-black fjord and the city. My friends went on, and I stood alone, trembling with anxiety. I felt a great, unending scream piercing through nature” (Olson and Doescher Web) Various factors can be attributed as having played a major role in inspiring Edward Munch to draw the picture. We can derive some hints from the set-up of the picture. One of the major sources of his anxiety was the economic condition that existed during that time. At that time there was an economic crisis, which led to a lot of misery to the people. This means that peoples businesses were deteriorating in performance and the unemployment rate was very high. At a personal level, Edward Munch was undergoing through this condition in addition to the harsh condition from the separating with his longtime girlfriend. This led to stress, depression, and later anxiety (Messer and Munch 7). Another source of inspiration can be drawn from the seasons in which the picture was drawn. While taking into consideration the time that the picture was drawn, and its contents, we can learn that this picture was drawn during the sunsets of an autumn season, shortly before the fall. Moreover, the screams can be related to the Awu eruption of June 7, 1892. It was the eruption that gave the skies the red background color that is reflected the scream (Bischoff 10). Moreover, we can derive some of the inspirations from Edward Munch’s stay in Nice, France, between 1891 and 1895. It was at this time that Edward Munch explicitly discussed art with his friend basing their art discussion on previous works of other painters. Munch himself mentions that the year 1884 was the year of original inspiration for three paintings. One of the main events that occurred during that period was the Bohemian days of the 1880s. Munch as an artist and writer, was greatly involved in the activities of the bohemian community. He was involved in sharing a studio with Christiania, and six other young artists related to the Bohemian community. During this event, he exhibited his drawings for the first time in a wildly confrontational Christiania debut of Henrik Ibsen's play, “Ghosts”, on October 17, 1883. The play gave an insight of the activities carried out by the Bohemian community comprising dishonesty, lack of a free life, and hypocrisy. This drawing was painted in a time when sky watchers had an eventful season. Moreover, the period between the end of 1883 and the first months of 1884, had the most remarkable nightfall’s for the past 150 years. A different source of inspiration can be drawn from the eruption of the volcanic island of Krakatoa in a catastrophic explosion on August 27, 1883, which sent dust and poisonous gases into the air. Consequently, there were magnificent and fiery sunsets and sunrises mostly in the southern hemisphere and later in the equator. The fiery sunsets and sunrises later spread to the northern latitudes instilling fear in most of the people in the affected region (Olson and Doescher Web). Another source of the inspiration can be drawn from the dark lunar eclipse on December 10, 1992. This eclipse happened in a time when there were many optical effects on the sky during the night. This contributed greatly to instilling fear among the people who lived in the region. Moreover, the lunar eclipse was followed by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The eruptions in this mountain contributed to a lot ...Show more
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Summary

The scream is a popular drawing by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch who lived between 1863 and 1944. The scream uniquely becomes the symbol of modern day anxiety since its foreground depicts a worried person…
What Inspired Edward Munch to draw The Scream
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