Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893, Nasjonalmuseet Oslo Norway
Know the feeling?
This painting is very well known in our culture, although certainly not as famous as the Mona Lisa, featured in my last post. It's an image that we have all seen so often in fact that just say "the Scream" and it swirls around in our heads without even needing to see a photo. I was thus struck, upon searching for a photo for this post, by how vivid the colors are in this painting. The vision of it in my head had been darker, one of the quirks of memory.
Munch's The Scream is an example (arguably the most classic example) of Expressionism. This is the name of an art movement focusing not on visual reality but on emotional reality. The movement came out of post-impressionist experimentation, but it was reacting against the philosophies behind movements like impressionism. Impressionism is far to big a topic to describe now, but suffice it to say that impressionists were seeking in their paintings to capture a moment of the world as they saw it, focusing on modern figures living in the city around them, and studying light effects. Expressionists tossed this goal out the window and sought to capture their personal inner worlds.