After the Mona Lisa, The Scream is probably the most iconic human figure in the history of Western Art. Credited to Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, there are actually 4 versions of this famous work: two paintings – a version completed in 1893 on view at the National Gallery in Oslo, a version completed in 1910 on view at the Munch Museum in Oslo, and two pastels – a version of 1893 and a version of 1895, the latter of which was sold at auction in 2012 for almost $120 million, which broke the world record for most expensive work of art sold at the time (record has since been broken!). On the other hand, this Norwegian cake from Sweet Paul’s Magazine claims to be the “World’s Best” – seems like a perfect match!
The subject of this picture is disturbing – a terrifying scream; the ultimate image of horrible anxiety. Elongated hands clutch a skull-like head with scared, wide eyes. Not many artists would choose this subject matter, and that is significant, because here Munch shows that raw human emotion is not always beautiful. A member of the Expressionist movement, Munch and contemporary artists like Nolde and Kirchner were drawn to depicting passion, human suffering and poverty. The artist wanted to provide a visual image for a universal human experience.
Munch’s composition is simple. He employed minimum forms to create a dramatic and expressive sky and water scene. The colors may have been inspired by the 1883 eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa. It was such a considerable event and the loudest sound heard by any human. As a result, Europe had remarkable red and blue skies for the next 6 months, witnessed by Munch (who wrote in his diary about the skies: “I sensed a great, infinite scream pass through nature”).
Not to be overly dramatic, but I will probably scream if you don’t make this cake! It is Norway’s National Cake and a welcome change from typical iced cakes. Add whatever fruit you wish – I chose a mix of mango and bananas, but strawberries or other berries would be just as nice!
Featured art: Edvard Munch, The Scream of Nature (The Scream), 1893, oil, tempera and pastel on board (National Gallery version)