Scanning a painting by Edward Munch, known as “Scream,” showed text that was barely visible. It turns out that it was written by the author of the painting himself.
The sentence “It can only be painted by a foolish person” can be found written in pencil in the upper left corner of the painting.
It was first noticed in 1904, 11 years after Munch completed a painting originally called “Der Schrei der Natur” (“Scream of Nature”). It was a Danish art critic who noticed the sentence and blamed a population for the painting’s vandalism, but it turned out to be a lie.
A new study at the Norwegian National Museum, which will open in 2022, reveals that the manuscript belonged to Edward Monk himself.
The painting was photographed using an infrared camera, making the pattern stand out clearly from the painted background. “To see the inscription, you have to get pretty close. We rarely find such inscriptions on works of art, especially on one of the world’s most famous paintings. Given that this is such an important work in international art history, the inscription has received considerably little attention.” said Maia Brita, curator of the National Museum.
It is believed that Munch may have written the sentence after his mental health was questioned.
“The theory is that Munch wrote it after listening to medical student Johan Sharfenberg’s verdict on his mental health. Munch was also worried about the idea of a congenital disease in the family. Both his father and grandfather suffered from so-called melancholy, and his sister Laura Munk was placed “The inscription can be read as an ironic commentary, but at the same time as an expression of the artist ‘s vulnerability,” said Brita.
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