But the real story may be more disturbing:
’A new exhibit at the British Museum seems to clear up a longstanding debate. The figure in the painting is not screaming, but hearing a scream.
In a new exhibit titled Edvard Munch: Love and Angst, the museum features a lithograph version of the image that predated the iconic 1893 painting. Scrawled along the bottom is an inscription by the artist: “I felt the great scream throughout nature.”
The cryptic sentence refers to a walk Munch took near a fjord overlooking Oslo. He described it in a diary entry headed “Nice 22 January 1892”: I was walking along the road with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city – my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”
Another bit of supporting evidence: The painting’s original German title was “Der Schrei der Natur,” or “The Scream of Nature.”…’