"The Scream" was painted in the end of the 19th century, and is possibly the first Expressionist painting. The Scream was very different from the art of the time, when many artists tried to depict objective reality. Munch was a tortured soul, and it certainly showed in this painting. Most of his family had died, and he was often plagued by sickness. The Scream was not a reflection of what was going on at the time, but rather, Munch's own "inner hell." It visualizes a desperate aspect of fin-de-siecle: anxiety and apocalypse. The percussiveness of the motif shows that it also speaks to our day and age ( .
Whaley 75 ). When Edvard Much was asked what had inspired him to do this painting, he replied, "One evening I was walking along a path, the city on one side of me and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out across the fjord. The sun was setting, the clouds were turning blood red. I felt a scream passing through nature. It seemed to me that I could hear the scream. I painted this picture; painted the clouds as real blood. The colors screamed" (Preble .
52). Some people, when they look at this painting, only see a person screaming. .
They see the pretty blend of colors, but don't actually realize what they are looking at. A lone emaciated figure halts on a bridge clutching his ears, his eyes and mouth open wide in a scream of anguish. Behind him a couple (his two "friends") are walking together in the opposite direction. Barely discernible in the swirling motion of a red-blood sunset and deep blue-black fjord, are tiny boats at sea, and the suggestion of town buildings ( Preble 53). .
This painting was definately the first of its kind, the first Expressionist painting. People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that's the case, then "The Scream" is worth a million. It has a message that no other painting of its time had. Edvard Munch was pouring out his soul onto the canvas.