The Scream, Edvard Munch (Norwegian, Løten 1863–1944 Ekely), Lithograph

The Scream

Edvard Munch (Norwegian, Løten 1863–1944 Ekely)
Image: 14 1/16 x 9 5/16 in. (35.7 x 23.6 cm)
Sheet: 20 1/4 x 15 5/8 in. (51.4 x 39.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Scofield Thayer, 1982
Accession Number:
Not on view
The extreme familiarity of this image today makes it hard to realize how shocking it and other works by Munch were when they were created slightly over a hundred years ago. Munch's art represented his own emotions, mostly the darker ones of fear, dread, loneliness, and sexual longing, with extraordinary expressiveness. The screaming figure personifies existential horror. A precursor of this image is a drawing of a man (Munch himself) on a similar bridge, with a blood-red sky above. A text accompanying this drawing states: "I walked with two friends. Then the sun sank. Suddenly the sky turned as red as blood ... My friends walked on, and I was left alone, trembling with fear. I felt as if all nature were filled with one mighty unending shriek."
Signature: Signed in graphite at lower right
Scofield Thayer; Donor: Scofield Thayer (American)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 11, 2000–June 25, 2000.

McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. "Edvard Munch: Psyche, Symbol and Expression," February 5, 2001–May 20, 2001.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 4, 2005–January 9, 2006.

Woll 69.38; Alarcó 2015, 78.17
Colta Ives, Janet S. Byrne, David W. Kiehl Notable Acquisitions, 1984-1985: Prints. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1985, p. 32, ill.

Edvard Munch: Psyche, Symbol and Expression. Exh. cat., McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, February 5-May 20, 2001. ed. by Jeffery Howe, Chicago, 2001.

Gerd Woll, Robert Thomas Ferguson et al. Edvard Munch: Complete Paintings. Thames & Hudson, London, 2009, cat. no. 38, p. 69, ill.

Paloma Alarcó Edvard Munch: Archetypes. Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, Madrid, 2015, cat. no. 17, p. 78, ill.