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The Scream - Edvard Munch

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Introduction

The human condition is a broad term brought into play which effectively incorporates experiences encountered throughout human existence. The Incredibly celebrated and well known 19th century painting by Edvard Munch, appropriately titled The Scream, successfully portrays stipulations of such psychological human conditions. The artwork is exceptionally different to typical works during Munch's era, where artists tended to depict a type of objective, prominent reality. Munch's tragic family days, hence tortured soul, are the chief grounds of explanation for his atypical style, which has been appropriated as visual structures. Through his structure and understated fa´┐Żade, Munch's Scream controversially depicts a niche, frighteningly destructive manifestation of emotional characteristics of what can be collectively referred to as the Human Condition. ...read more.

Middle

The curving rhythm of Munch's body, transformed into an existential symbol, incorporates itself into the tense rhythm of the environment. As the protagonist cries, his face is deliberately distorted into the contour of a human skull with the intention of building an iconographic association to death. These visual manipulations of the central figure effectively communicate to us the audience the state of the protagonist regarding emotions, and the environment which is allowing for such performances to come to pass. Behind the central character, panels of a long fence act as appropriate vector lines drawing the eyes of the audience towards a walking couple. The sharp angle of the bridge creates a visual tension within the painting, juxtaposed to the flatness and smoothness of the landscape, predominantly that of the swirling sky and water. ...read more.

Conclusion

Munch incorporates complementary reds and oranges around cooler tones to emphasise greater fear or uncertainty, wreaking eeriness as well as paranoia, passion & craze. The suggestion of town buildings in the top right hand corner appends to the confusion established after the first glance, concerning a clashing of locations, different environments, or different 'worlds', the geometrical position of town buildings subtly implies for the viewer a somewhat remote superiority over the central character. Together inflicting upon one mans temperament or disposition and highlighting the noticeable distinction typical humanity or accepted wisdom holds over the protagonist. The colours, composition and a vivid use of perspective as well as the surging curves throughout the portrait, and a hollow central figure, together in effect represent the alienation and anxiety, a world imploding, a frighteningly destructive side of the human condition. ...read more.

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