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The Scream (1893) was originally titled 'Despair', and is the most famous of 'The Frieze of Life' series by Norwegian Expressionist painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944).

Munch painted the series, depicting what appears to be existential angst, following an experience that he described in his diary:

"I was walking along a path with two friends—the sun was setting—suddenly the sky turned blood red—I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence—there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city—my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety—and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

It has been suggested that the blood red hue of this sunset was attributable to particulates released by the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. However, it seems unlikely that significant levels of particulates could have persisted as late as 1892.

Munch's parents, a brother, and a sister died while Edvard was young, perhaps explaining the bleakness and despair characteristic of much of Munch's work.

For those who imagine that Bipolar Affective Disorder is distinct from Dissociative Identity Disorder here is an article discussing "Bipolar illness, creativity, and treatment".

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