If there is a work that represents modernity, this is Munch’s Scream. The well-known art critic Luca Nannipieri , author of the books ” Raphael ” and ” Stolen Masterpieces ” published by Skira, tells us what lies behind that heartbreaking scream. Why the Scream is considered a timeless work
If modernity has been represented, in this work it is supremely so: Munch’s Scream. Art has portrayed despair and anguish many times: indeed it has depicted them more often than love and brotherhood. The Scream is tremendously modern because that man with his mouth wide open there is no one who saves him, there is no God. The man who alone screams, screams without escape, his pain is silent about him.
And then to those who scream
Nobody, nobody listens to him. The two passersby leave, indifferent; around the landscape is almost inhuman, the sky is blood red, the bay sways eerie, the bridge and parapet cut the picture like a blade, and he – the man, stylized, with a pale yellow skin color, with a shocked expression – his mouth widens enormously towards us, but we cannot save him, as the poet Giuseppe Ungaretti, soldier in the trenches, does not save his comrade “massacred / with his mouth / gritted / turned to the full moon / with the congestion / of his hands / penetrated / in my silence “.
Unlike the poet who redeems his life from anguish by writing “letters full of love”, Edvard Munch with this work seems to extinguish any hope of salvation. It is an unheard cry. The man’s face is deformed, not only the dilated mouth, but also the eyes, the very shape of his face seems to have no more human features, it looks like a skull, the body undulates as if it were a flame taken by the wind. Michelangelo’s Pieta, a timeless masterpiece
Michelangelo’s Pieta, otherwise known as the Vatican Pieta, is one of the most beautiful works born from the genius of the Italian Renaissance. An eternal masterpiece. What Munch’s Scream teaches us
Munch’s Scream, in its reference version, is from 1893, although he made several variations with oils, tempera and pastels on cardboard, lithographs in black and white. A year earlier the artist noted in his diary the psychological genesis of the work: “I was walking along the street with two friends – then the sun went down. Suddenly the sky turned blood red and I felt a shiver of anguish. A bite of pain in the chest. I got stuck – leaning on the handrail, because I felt a fatal fatigue. Above the dark blue fjord and the city dripped blood in flaming tongues. My friends kept walking – and they left me trembling with fear. And I heard a huge boundless scream go through nature “.
One of the versions of Munch’s Scream was auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York in 2012. It was sold for 119.9 million dollars. Versions of the work have been stolen several times by thieves: at the Nasjonalgalleriet in Oslo, on February 12, 1994, and at the Munchmuseet, ten years later, on August 22, 2004. Fortunately, found again. But thefts tell us how much love – even morbid, criminal – moves the mythology of this insurmountable painting.

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