Etched into the paint of one of the most famous paintings in the world, a haunting eight-word sentence has been a mystery to art historians for over a century. In 1904, a Danish art critic peering at Edvard Munch‘s The Scream noticed graffiti along the rolling clouds of the blood-red sunset. The sentence reads, “Can only have been painted by a madman.” The mysterious statement—clearly added sometime after the painting’s debut in 1893—was long thought to be added either by a disgruntled onlooker or perhaps the artist himself. The century-old debate has finally been settled by modern technology. Using infrared photography to compare handwriting to Munch’s letters and journals, experts at the National Museum of Norway claim the words are in fact the artist’s own.
As part of Norwegian