13 Things You Have Never Heard About The Most Expensive Piece Of Art: The Scream

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The Scream is probably one of the most famous artworks of its time and all times. But how much do you really know about it? According to mentalfloss.com, there are many things to learn. Many people see it as Edvard Munch's best work and it was sold for a record price 5 years ago in New York. The original name of the piece is Skrik. Let's see how much you know about the magnificent painting.

Source: http://mentalfloss.com/article/62425/14-...

1. Before painting the final version, Munch created a quartet of executions of the familiar scene starting in 1893 and finishing in 1910. He used different colors and made 4 Scream paintings.

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2. Munch made a lithograph of the concept and mass-produced the image.

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These prints got a second life of sorts in 1984, courtesy of Andy Warhol. In the wake of its Munch exhibition, the New York–based Galleri Bellman commissioned the pop art pioneer to recreate Munch's lithographs as a screen print.

3. The original name was not The Scream.

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Munch's intended name for these variants was The Scream of Nature. He shared the rationale for this title in a poem he painted on the frame of the 1895 pastel, "I was walking along the road with two Friends / the Sun was setting – The Sky turned a bloody red / And I felt a whiff of Melancholy – I stood / Still, deathly tired – over the blue-black / Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire / My Friends walked on – I remained behind / – shivering with Anxiety – I felt the great Scream in Nature – EM.”

4. The scream might also be about suicide.

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Munch scholar Sue Prideaux places the creation of the first Scream in a time when the Norwegian painter was broke, fresh off a failed love affair, and fearful of developing the mental illness that ran in his family.  It's no coincidence that the bridge depicted in The Scream was a popular spot for jumpers.

5. The screamer may have been based on a Peruvian mummy.

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6. It inspired the mask of Wes Craven's Scream Killer.

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7. The Scream also influenced Doctor Who.

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In the re-launched sci-fi series, the beloved Doctor faces off against universe threatening aliens known as the Silence. They confessed the look of these terrifying creators was inspired in part by Munch's Scream.

8. Did you know that when The Scream was first stolen the thieves left a mocking note?

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On the same day the 1994 Winter Olympics opened in Lillehammer, bandits placed a ladder up to the window of the National Gallery in Oslo, snuck inside, and made off with The Scream. They were so pleased with the ease of this crime that they added insult to robbery, leaving a note that read, "Thanks for the poor security." Thankfully, the painting was recovered within three months.

9. Well it seems as though security was not enough because armed gunmen stole The Scream in 2004.

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By May of 2006, three men had been convicted of the theft. But despite the city of Oslo offering a 2 million krone (about $313,000 U.S.) reward, the paintings remained missing.

10. M&M Chocolate Company also tried to help in finding the painting.

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In August 2006, Mars, Inc. became involved in the recovery efforts as a marketing ploy to promote the brand's new dark chocolate M&Ms.

11. Just a few days after the promotion started, a convict gave up the whereabouts of the missing paintings.

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12. The Scream was sold at a very high price in an auction house.

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The second pastel Scream sold for $119.9 million, making it, at the time, "the world’s most expensive work of art ever to sell at auction."

13. The Scream is in the public domain.

Well, more specifically, The Scream--and all other works by Munch--are in the public domain in nations that embrace the “life plus 70 years” copyright term. As Munch died in 1944, January 1, 2015, marked the issuing of his works into the public domain in countries like Brazil, Israel, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, and those within the European Union. It was already public domain in the United States because it was created before 1923.

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