THE SCREAM THAT NO ONE HEARS

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scream

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THE SCREAM

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THE SCREAM THAT NO ONE HEARS
EXCEPT NATURE
THE LOSS OF MOTHER NATURE
THE AGONY OF THE OBLITERATION OF SELF SCREAMING INTO NATURE
THE MADNESS OF BEING HERE … NO NURTURE

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Munch sought to express internal emotions through external forms and thereby provide a visual image for a universal human experience.
The screaming figure is thus linked through these formal means to the natural realm, which was apparently Munch’s intention.

A passage in Munch’s diary dated January 22, 1892, and written in Nice, contains the probable inspiration for this scene as the artist remembered it:

“I was walking along the road with two friends—the sun went down—I felt a gust of melancholy—suddenly the sky turned a bloody red. I stopped, leaned against the railing, tired to death—as the flaming skies hung like blood and sword over the blue-black fjord and the city—My friends went on—I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I felt a vast infinite scream [tear] through nature.” The figure on the bridge—who may even be symbolic of Munch himself—feels the cry of nature, a sound that is sensed internally rather than heard with the ears. Yet, how can this sensation be conveyed in visual terms?
Munch’s approach to the experience of synesthesia, or the union of senses (for example the belief that one might taste a color or smell a musical note), results in the visual depiction of sound and emotion.

As such, The Scream represents a key work for the Symbolist movement as well as an important inspiration for the Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century.

Symbolist artists of diverse international backgrounds confronted questions regarding the nature of subjectivity and its visual depiction.

As Munch himself put it succinctly in a notebook entry on subjective vision written in 1889, “It is not the chair which is to be painted but what the human being has felt in relation to it.”
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