The Scream Cthulhu
“The Scream Cthulhu” by Ray VanTilburg
Inspired by Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, and the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.
We know, thanks to H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu, that certain unearthly dreams afflict artists, who are particularily sensitive to psychic disruptions.
The original German title given to the work by Munch is Der Schrei der Natur (“The Scream of Nature”).
In his diary in an entry headed, Nice 22 January 1892, Munch described his inspiration for the 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 color shrieked. This became The Scream.
It has been suggested that the proximity of both a slaughterhouse and a lunatic asylum to the site depicted in the painting may have offered some inspiration. The scene was identified as being the view from a road overlooking Oslo, the Oslofjord and Hovedoya, from the hill of Ekeberg. At the time of the painting, Munch’s manic depressive sister was a patient at the asylum at the foot of Ekeberg.
In 1978, a Munch scholar suggested that the strange, sexless creature in the foreground of the painting was inspired by a mummy, but we suspect it was something not of this world at all.
This design is part of a series that is currently on display in an exhibition called Starry Night, Scary Night, at the Arkham Museum of Art, at Miskatonic University, Arkham, MA.