The author of the offensive entry on “Le Cri”? Munch himself, concludes a museum

“Can only have been painted by a madman”: As derogatory as it is imperceptible, the inscription added to Le Cri was not traced by anyone other than the artist himself, Edvard Munch, concluded the National Museum of Norway.

Written in pencil in the left corner at the top of the iconic canvas, which has become a symbol of existential angst, the few words in Norwegian have long fueled conjectures on the identity of their author.

The prevailing theory until now has been that they were the legacy of an indignant spectator at the turn of the 20th century by the work which depicts a ghostly figure with a pale face in front of brightly colored celestial vaults.

But an examination by infrared thermography, carried out by the National Museum of Norway, which has the concerned version of the Cri – Munch (1863-1944), carried out four – in its collections, led to another conclusion.

“The inscription is definitely from Munch,” curator Mai Britt Guleng said in a statement released by the museum on Monday.

“The writing itself as well as the events that occurred in 1895 when Munch first showed the painting in Norway all point in the same direction,” she added.

The first presentation of the work to the public in Oslo – then called Kristiania – that year sparked criticism and raised questions about the artist’s mental health, which, according to Ms. Guleng, no doubt led to this one to scribble on the board.

Pioneer of expressionism,

Munch was haunted by the feeling of anguish fueled by the untimely death of loved ones, in particular that of his mother and his sister Johanne Sophie, taken away by the disease. In 1908, he was even temporarily placed in a psychiatric establishment.

This version of the Scream was stolen in 1994, on the opening day of the Lillehammer Winter Olympics, before being found a few months later.

The painting will be on display again to the public on the occasion of the opening scheduled for 2022 of the National Museum of Norway, which will bring together the collections of several establishments.

Source: AFP

“Can only have been painted by a madman”: As derogatory as it is imperceptible, the inscription added to Le Cri was not traced by anyone other than the artist himself, Edvard Munch, concluded the National Museum of Norway. Written in pencil in the top left corner of the iconic canvas, which has become a symbol of existential angst, the …

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