A Series of Screamers; ANSWERS TO THE CORRESPONDENT

Daily Mail (London), March 26, 2014 | Go to article overview

A Series of Screamers; ANSWERS TO THE CORRESPONDENT


QUESTION

HOW many versions of The Scream did Edvard Munch produce?

NORWEGIAN artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944) produced four versions of The Scream between 1893 and 1910. Munch originally gave the paintings the German title Der Schrei Der Natur (The Scream of Nature). His masterpiece features a figure with an agonized expression against the backdrop of a turbulent orange sky.

In his diary, in an entry headed, 'Nice, January 22, 1892', Munch described the inspiration for his image: 'One evening I was walking along a path, the city was on one side and the fjord below. I felt tired and ill. I stopped and looked out over the fjord - the sun was setting, and the clouds turning blood red.

'I sensed a scream passing through nature; it seemed to me that I heard the scream. I painted this picture, painted the clouds as actual blood. The colour shrieked. This became The Scream.' The scene of The Scream is an actual place located on the hill of Ekeberg in Norway, on a path with a safety railing. The faint city and landscape represent the view of Oslo and the Oslo Fjord.

At the bottom of the Ekeberg hill was the asylum where Edvard Munch's sister was kept and also nearby was a slaughterhouse. At that time, it was said one could actually hear the cries of the animals being killed as well as the cries of the mentally disturbed patients in the distance. Munch was probably inspired by screams that he actually heard in this area, Munch created the four versions in various media.

The National Gallery in Oslo has one of two painted versions (1893). The Munch Museum, also in Oslo, has the other (1910) and a pastel version from 1893. The fourth version, executed in pastel in 1895, was sold to financier Leon Black for $120million at Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art auction in New York in May 2012.

Also in 1895, Munch created a lithograph stone of the image.

Before the stone was resurfaced by the printer, in Munch's absence, about 40 prints were made, many of which still survive.

Mr D. L. Strachan, North Berwick, East Lothian.

QUESTION

MELODY Anderson (Dale Arden in Flash Gordon) gave up acting to become a social worker. What other celebrities have given up their careers to do something more worthy?

FURTHER to earlier answers, at the point at which his life was cut short by a heart-attack at the tragically early age of 31, the late actor Eric 'Wee Burney' Cullen (who starred in the BBC comedy Rab C Nesbitt and was a friend of mine) had just been accepted as a student on a course in clinical psychology. His intention had been to specialise in criminology and then use this to help people who were, like himself, survivors of severe abuse.

Claire M Jordan, West Calder, West Lothian.

BEFORE she was 20, actress Dolores Hart had co-starred twice with Elvis Presley, in Loving You and King Creole and with Anna Magnani and Anthony Quinn in Wild Is The Wind, and for her 1959 Broadway debut she received a Tony Award nomination.

She achieved star billing in 1960 with Where The Boys Are, a film comedy about the annual invasion of Fort Lauderdale by students at the Easter break. Having decided as a child of 10 to convert to Catholicism, by 1963 she had decided to give up acting to become a nun. Despite her success she entered the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut to begin a seven-year novitiate, eventually becoming prioress of the order.

A documentary short film about her life, God Is The Bigger Elvis, was Oscar-nominated in 2012, and in 2013 she published her autobiography The Ear of the Heart - An Actress's Journey from Hollywood To Holy Vows.

She is also the answer to a wellknown quiz question, 'Who is the only nun to be an Oscar-voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences?' Peter Ferguson, London N1.

QUESTION

MY 90-year-old grandfather frequently laments that he no longer hears the cuckoo in the Irish countryside. …

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