COPENHAGEN, Denmark- Norway’s National Museum (NNM) says Edvard Munch himself penned a tiny, hardly visible sentence handwritten with a pencil on the painting known as “The Scream”. The painting is Edvard Munch’s 1893 masterpiece.
The artwork, which shows a ragamuffin-like figure holding its head in its hands with his mouth astare, has become a world icon for human fear expression. The sentence- “can only have been painted by a madman”- was written in the top left corner of the canvas.
The Edvard Munch painting is being prepared to be presenting at the new National Museum Of Norway that is expected to open in Oslo in 2022.
The curator at the National Museum, Mai Britt Gulenga, said, “The handwriting is undoubtedly Munch’s own,” in a Monday statement. “It was studied in relation to painter’s writing in letters and diaries.
“The handwriting itself and events that happened in 1895, when Edvard showed the painting in Norway for the very first time, all hints in the same direction,” Gulen said.
The scribbling on the painting was added after Edvard had completed the painting, but for years it has been a puzzle, the museum said in an interview with CNN. Speculation has varied from it being an act of mischief by an enraged viewer to something written by Edvard himself.
Gulen said the scribbling was approximately made “in 1895 when Munch presented the painting for the first time.”
The painting at the time started public talk about Edvard’s mental state. During a discussion night when the painter was present, a young student asked Munch’s mental health and suggested that his work proved he was insane.