Artist Edvard Munch died 67 years ago today at the ripe old age of 80, leaving behind a legacy of some of the most famous — and stolen — artworks in history.
Yes, people love to steal the Norwegian’s famous paintings like The Scream, Madonna, and Vampire, all of which were robbed during Olympic Games. Actually several versions of The Scream, Munch’s most popular piece, have been snatched, but luckily eventually recovered.
Munch’s “Vampire” was stolen in 1988 during the Calgary Winter Olympics, another version of “The Scream” was taken from the National Gallery on the opening day of the Lillehammer Winter Games in 1994 and Sunday’s [August 2004] robbery was staged during the Athens Summer Games.
Not surprisingly, The Scream is my favorite Munch piece, like it is for so many other people. I first saw the painting as a teenager and its dark tones and morbid theme is what immediately drew me to it. (Basically, anything that looked like it could be on a metal album cover was something that drew my attention.) Over time, I became familiar with Munch’s other works and got to see a special exhibit at the MoMA a few years ago (follow the link to the MoMA for media from the 2006 exhibit).
The imagery of The Scream has made its way into pop culture, so even if you don’t think you know this painting, I’m sure you’ve seen parodies of it, like maybe the Rayman Raving Rabbids Scream or in the Scream movie franchise the Ghostface killer’s mask is based on the figure in The Scream painting.