Information about the screening of The Scream March 4th - March 10th

What year was The Scream actually painted? Today, we write “1910(?)” because we do not know with certainty when Edvard Munch painted this particular version.

The Scream is one of the world’s most famous works of art, and MUNCH has three versions always displayed: a painting, a drawing, and a print. These circulate at viewing time during the day, and while one version appears, the other two rest in the dark.

Now, the painted version will be taken down for a short period from the 4th of March through the 10th of March. To find out which year the painting was made, the conservation team need to examine it very closely, comparing data from a lot of different sources.

During the short period when the painted version is down, the audience will have the unique opportunity to experience the other two versions of The Scream shown at the same time.

Edvard Munch, Scream. Tempera and oil on unprimed cardboard, 1910?. Photo: The Munch Museum.

Two versions of Edvard Munch's Scream: Lithography, 1895 / Crayon on cardboard, 1893. Photo © Munchmuseet

Read more about The Scream versions and The Scream Room here .

WHY SHOULD THE SCREAM PAINTING BE EXAMINED? 

There are two painted versions of The Scream, one of which is in MUNCH's collection. The other is owned by the National Museum.

MUNCHs painting is not dated by the artist. Like the National Museum's version of The Scream, it has traditionally been dated to 1893. Since the 1970s, the dating of MUNCHs version of The Scream has been discussed, and several different arguments have been put forward that may indicate that the painting was painted later, either in 1906, 1910 or between 1915-18.

Today's date, 1910 (?), was set by Gerd Woll in connection with the preparation of a catalogue of all paintings by Edvard Munch, published in 2008. The question mark behind the dating emphasizes that it is uncertain and that more research is needed to provide a more reliable dating.

In collaboration with researchers from the University of Antwerp and HIROX Europe, MUNCH will use new methods that, through detailed investigations of pigments and paint layers, can provide new knowledge about when the painting was painted. The investigations mean that The Scream must be scanned by different machines for several days – a complex process that requires the work to be temporarily moved to the museum's conservation studio.