Edvard Munch created four versions of “The Scream” in various media, three painted and one pastel. The latter was sold at a Modern Art action on May 2, 2012 for $119,922,600, the second highest price paid for a painting at auction.
“The Scream” has been the target of several high-profile art thefts. In 1994, the version in the National Gallery was stolen. It was recovered several months later. In 2004, both “The Scream” and “The Madonna” were stolen from the Munch Museum, and were both recovered two years later.”
A diary entry in 1892 by Munch described his inspiration for the painting:
“One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord—the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red. I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The color shrieked. This became The Scream.””
Thieves stole the pastel version shown here on the opening day of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Three men were convicted of the theft in May 2006.
“Munch developed an emotionally charged style that served as an important forerunner of the 20th century Expressionist movement. He painted “The Scream” as part of his “Frieze of Life” series, in which sickness, death, fear, love and melancholy are central themes. He died in January 1944 at the age of 81.”