A few of my friends have been asking about the Ice Screams post from a few days ago. So I thought it would be a good time to post a little background on that for those who are unaware of the subject. 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

The Scream is a painting by artist Edvard Munch created in 1893 with three other versions of the work cropping up by Munch over the next two decades. 

The painting has become a part of pop culture over the years due to its strange appearance and easily distinguishable emotions of fear and/or anguish. Even the famous ghost face mask used in the 1998 film Scream by Wes Craven was based on the painting. (Source: Fangoria)

There is some controversy surrounding what inspired Munch to create the painting. In his own diaries he wrote that he had been out on a walk when he stopped to rest, and examined the sky looking like blood while feeling almost like nature itself was crying out.

The popular interpretation of this statement and the vision in the painting is that throughout the late 1890s many places saw vivid and exotic sunsets thanks to the powerful eruption of Krakatoa in Africa. Some have speculated that Munch painted the skies just as he saw them that late evening.

Others suggest that it was not a literal interpretation of what he saw, but was instead a strange commentary on the area he stopped in containing both a slaughterhouse and an insane asylum.

As for the unusual figure featured as the centerpiece for the art work, historian Robert Rosenblum speculated that it was inspired by a Peruvian mummy which Munch had seen a few years prior at an historical exhibit in Paris. 

No matter what the background on the painting was, it has come down through the ages as one of the most easily recognizable art works in modern history, and the appearance of the sky along with the haunting figure in the foreground give it an easy association with the Halloween season.

For more information on the painting…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Scream

 

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