It's not often that your Culture section will fawn deliriously over a particular exhibition or event, we are far too aware that your decision to see things is your own and our responsibility is to filter through the frankly incredible amount of cultural activity in the capital to bring you what's hot and deserved of your oh-so frantic schedule. Today, though, is not just any day.
Oh, no. Going on display today for the very first time in Britain is one of the finest works of art ever created (and yes, today we are fawning over not just an exhibition, but a single artwork). You'll know The Scream by Edvard Munch, the onieric fantasy of a personal hell, made manifest on canvas. The image is so famous it inspired a series of Hollywood films - and their spin-offs. Twice the painting has been stolen in recent years. The face has become the personification of horror, itself contorted by fear, imbued within its very fabric. Like Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's smirking representation of Guy Fawkes, which has become the mask of Anonymous, this is a work of art that is now a common part of our consciousness.
The Scream, one of four painted in the 1890s, goes on temporary display at Sotheby's before it travels to New York to go up for auction on 02 May, where it is expected to sell for over $50million. You'll likely only have the chance to see this very sporadically in your lifetime (if at all, barring trips to Munch-museet,Oslo). Catch it here while you can.
We'll leave you with the text, written by Munch in his diaries explaining his state of mind at the time of the painting's creation:
"I was walking abling a path with two friends - the sun was setting - I felt a breath of melancholy - Suddenly the sky turned blood-red - I stopped and leant against the railing deadly tired - looking out across flaming clouds that hung like blood and sword over the deep blue fjord and town - My friends walked on - I stood there trembling with anxiety and I felt a great, infinite scream through nature.'
In every aspect, this is one of the most relevatory artworks ever made.
The Scream by Edvard Munch goes on display at Sotheby's today.