Edvard Munch’s Secret “Madman” Message in The Scream

Hidden among the brushstrokes of Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch’s famous “The Scream” painting (actually named “Skrik”) are the words, “Can only have been painted by a madman.” Scrawled in pencil at the top left corner, the inscription’s attribution has been debated recently, with many wondering if it was written by a harsh critic (as the work received heavy criticism upon its release in 1895). New analytical tests by the National Museum of Norway compared the script to letters penned by the artist. It confirmed the handwriting—and the stark message—to be Munch’s. Read more about the painting’s history and the process behind attributing the text at the Independent.

Image courtesy of the National Museum of Norway