Surprisingly different initial versions of Norwegian art icon Edvard Munch’s signature work ‘The Scream’ have seen the light of day after over 7,600 sketches, many previously unknown, were published for unrestricted use.
Among the released drawings are sketches showing how ‘The Scream’ looked before the world-famous version, reports Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet.
Over a hundred years on from a fateful stroll in Oslo’s Ekeburg, when a blood-red sunset gave Edvard Munch the inspiration for what later became the work for which he is arguably best known, the Munch Museum is releasing previously unknown sketches and drawings by the Norwegian artist.
The museum is publishing for unrestricted use pictures of all the artist’s drawings gathered in a new database, Dagbladet writes.
Among the works being published are also previously unknown sketches for ‘The Scream’ — a painting that was no simple task for Munch, with the database evidencing several attempts.
“We want the art to be available to people everywhere,” director of the Munch Museum Stein Olav Henrichsen told Dagbladet.
“There are especially two reasons why we wanted to digitalise all Munch’s drawings. The first reason was that the drawings were unknown. The second was that digitalising the entire collection was truly a dream of ours. Digitalisation is something museums all over the world have struggled with and work towards, and we want Munch to be present in a digital world,” Henrichsen added.
The Munch Museum has received 22 million kroner (2.3 million euros) in support from the Bergesen Foundation, a non-profit foundation benefitting social and humanitarian projects, Dagbladet reports.
Of the 22 million kroner, 12 million has been allocated to digitalisation of the drawings, and 10 million will later be used to digitalise all other works of art, including graphic works, photos, paintings and sculptures. The funds will also finance a new biography on Edvard Munch, which is being launched internationally.
Four art historians have spent four years systemising, scanning and digitalising the drawings. In total, they have entered 7644 drawings into the database.