Barely visible in the top left-hand corner of one of the world's most famous paintings are the words, "Could only have been painted by a madman!" For years, curators and art historians have wondered who wrote it.
After decades of debate, experts confirmed this week that the artist himself, Edvard Munch, is responsible for the inscription on his most famous work, "The Scream."
According to The National Museum of Norway, a Danish art critic first noticed the inscription during an exhibition in Copenhagen in 1904 — thinking that a member of the public had written it as an act of vandalism.
New infrared scans, which don't impact the painting, have shown that Munch left the tiny sentence on the corner of the painting, written in pencil after the work was already complete. The museum analyzed the handwriting and compared it to Munch's diaries and letters from the time.
"The theory is that Munch wrote this after hearing Scharffenberg's judgment on his mental health, sometime in or after 1895," said Guleng of the inscription. "It is reasonable to assume that he did it quite soon after, either during or following the exhibition."
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