Edward Munch’s “The Scream” is one of the world’s most enduring paintings.

Its androgynous muse is seen in some kind of yearning and bold waves of color overwhelm the viewer. But what appears on the upper left corner of the masterpiece has entered the art world for decades. It reads, “Could only be painted by a lunatic.”

There has been speculation that a vandal somehow inscribed the words on the 1893 painting, but the New York Times Reported The curator of Norway’s National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design determined that the words were written by Manch himself.

One of the curators, My Brit Guleng, told the Times that he was examining the inscription “letter by letter” and determined that it was “identical in every way to Manch’s handwriting.”

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“So there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

BBC Reported This “The Scream” is the second most recognized work of art created behind Master Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa”. The report states that Munch produced four versions of the painting, but the most famous was from 1893. There is a theory that the figure in the painting is a self-portrait of Munch.

The Times reported that Chew took to a diary and said the painting was inspired by a “sigh of sadness”.


The inscription is not large enough to be seen with the naked eye, and the Times said curators used infrared photography to create lettering. The report states that N and D written in the inscription prompted researchers to determine, “It is chewy.”