Raiders of the Lost Art | Season 2: Episode 1 | Stealing ‘The Scream’ | Free Documentary History
it's an iconic work it's an image which everyone knows it's one of the most well-known images in our history second only to the mona lisa over a century has passed since edvard monk painted the screen .
Whether you're holding it in your hands or you're looking at it on the wall of a museum it will tell you straight away it's a masterpiece but who was this troubled artist and how did this image come to represent a lifetime's work it was a fantastically important picture to monk the kind of central figure in his painting at that .
Time it's something that has crossed continence cultures everyone knows it so why in recent years has it become such an object of desire for enthusiasts and thieves alike for as long as i can remember i have suffered from a deep feeling of anxiety .
Which i have tried to express in my art edvard monk was a troubled soul as can clearly be seen in his paintings he lived for many years in poverty and his unusual and often frightening style took a long time to be fully embraced by the artistic community we now know edward monk as the creator of some of the most say a .
Resting haunting expressionistic images of the 20th century probably the only well-known norwegian artist of the late 19th and 20th century he was an emotional artist and he worked when the inspiration came enormously influential on german expressionism .
Today this scream is the most famous painting but for him in his time when he produced it it was just one painting he didn't thought okay now i'm painting my most important work monk created his most iconic work the scream early in his career .
Little did he know that it would come to define his legacy and that it would be the target of so very many thieves and just how hard it would be to recover edvard monk was born on the 12th of december 1863 in the small village of ardelsbrook his family moved to oslo then known as christiania when he was only two .
Monk had been born into a norwegian art scene that had blossomed in recent decades especially with the paintings of norway's landscape by the celebrated johann christian dahl just like monk dahl had come from a very modest norwegian background however monk's chances of following in dahl's footsteps and traveling the world .
Seemed very slim from the outset i think his childhood was horrible his mom died when he was four of tb so presumably had spent the first four years of his life listening to her cough which got to be nice edward did have a difficult childhood there were a number of family tragedies and two deaths there were quite a lot of .
Diseases in the family caused by the climate by the bad house his father brought the children up on a mixture of hellfire damnation and edgar allan poe so i think that explains a lot about monk's later life although he displayed early talent monk .
Would only find his artistic calling in his late teenage years his most influential teacher was christian cook one of the great realistic and social critic artists in norway monk really got his radical breakthrough in the middle of the 1880s with the .
Painting that thick child how he painted this was totally uncommon he was like scrapping the color with knives and there are really a lot of layers in this uh painting it really divided the public opinion there is undoubtedly an edge of darkness from his work from the very beginning it's there .
All along he was someone who was living on the borderlines of sanity and insanity many of monk's paintings from this era in his career are missing it's possible that they may have been confiscated by his overtly pious father who was covering his son's expenses yet .
Disapproved of his new direction but edvard had a chance to break out on his own mooc was actually born into a family where they had several quite well-known artists one of them was an artist called fritz taulom and he had close links to paris was quite well .
Known in paris and he sponsored monk to go for the first time and he went into the studio of leon bonnell who was pretty traditional painter and they quite quickly came to blows i think he immediately knew that he found it stifling he found it dull leonbona's style of painting may not .
Have been to mug's taste but he did appreciate his tours of the parisian galleries paris was right in the middle of the bell epoch and the work of many of the greatest artists of the era was on show one of them already toulouse-lautrec had also been a student of leon bonner edvard monk was stunned by what he saw .
Paris of course wasn't this time the mecca the magnet for all artists they had to go there they had to see what is happening here he made two big trips to paris the first time he came back having seen impressionism he'd seen monet and manet but it's really the second trip when he finds gauguin van gogh pre-expressionist .
If you like following the death of van gogh in 1890 there was the big retrospective in 1891 which undoubtedly he related to is an artist who is projecting emotion through colour through lying through expression in art paris at the time was sort of a marketplace of various .
Uh painterly styles after impressionism and i think although he experiments with a lot of things from paris and is indeed keen to show his knowledge of impressionist painting for instance we don't see him really catching on to one truly parisian way of of painting mung always wanted to be a kind of parisian .
Artist because this was a center but he got a lot of friends and supporters in berlin and in other german cities like hamburg lubeck grayson and so on so he was more or less 20 years in germany monk would have his greatest breakthrough in berlin he tried to model his works on what he'd .
Seen in paris trying out the impressionist style the realist style even painting in the puente list style of george serra but berlin was where he found his true voice painting picture by picture i followed the impressions my eye took in at heightened moments i painted only .
Memories adding nothing no details that i did not see hence the simplicity of the paintings their emptiness monk loved berlin i think he really found his place there he found people who were willing to listen to him who saw him as a proponent of new ideas .
And in 1892 he had been asked to come over with 35 works and do an exhibition for the association of berlin artists the berlin arts association at that time was a very conservative circle of artists and i don't think anyone expected what monk brought to the show so within a week the show .
Was closed down he thought he was an anarchist i think so the ferrari themselves the the club just thought he was nuts um critics went wild and of course he loved it he thought it was fantastic he said i've never had so much fun or words of that effect this made him a real hero for the younger generation someone to .
Look up to and someone who was breaking the norm and paving the way for them immediately a lot of invitations from other cities in germany for exhibitions and monk hired an own room only some months later in berlin to make his private exhibition there so in 1893 the stream was exhibited the first time in berlin .
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 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 we have these four versions two paintings two pastels but they're also wood cuts with also drawings so we have a kind of family orbiting this theme i think it's now generally .
Accepted that the pastel 1893 version was the first and possibly a study for the painting well the pastel that we have here is executed in what appears to be haste with crayon onto ungrounded cardboard this is a rather rough expression 1895 .
He had a german collectors called otto von farkid he did buy despair and tried to buy the painted 1893 version and it was a fantastically important picture to monk you know he didn't want to sell it and so he said to him i i'll sell you the spirit and i'll make you a new screen this one stands out because of its frame .
So it has a very special frame in which he had inscribed almost a poem which reflected his vision the 1910 version he needed to replace the 1893 version because it had gone and so he did himself one in in tempura on card and you know this is a sign of how important it was to him as a kind of central figure in in .
His painting at that time they're all sort of quite different in both technique uh and style and also to a certain extent content the colouring is different in each of them some of them are more highly colored the slight differences in the compositions and interestingly if .
You look at the eyes they're also depicted slightly differently i think in a certain point of his life he saw that the scream is a very very special very strong composition but when he painted it it was just one part of this work in progress called freeze of life there's of course this famous .
Poem-like text which is older than the painting where he is writing about walking with the two friends along the sea and then suddenly the sky is turning red and he's hearing a big scream through nature i mean it has been suggested his sister laura was in a lunatic asylum at what has been identified as that point of the fjord .
And that he might have been walking to see her and you know that maybe didn't cheer him up while it is personal and he states this haunting moment in his life it's also very universal it's something that everyone can relate to it's not him in the picture it is .
Just a figure it may have just been a figure but it became an icon and it would catch the attention of daring thieves masked gunmen and the world's richest art collectors edward monks the scream would not only become the work he would be most known .
For it would become an iconic piece of art unfortunately in 1994 it also became a prime target for a gang of norwegian thieves it was the lily hammer olympics all eyes on the country and at the same time as the olympics there's also a kind of cultural .
Olympics going on a focus on the cultural world of norway and of course the scream would sit at the centre of that one of their most iconic images and actually one of the most iconic images in the world i remember watching the evening news and that sunday the first day of the winter olympics .
There was not so much news about the olympics but the theft from the oslo national gallery literally ran in and within 20 seconds had cut the painting taken it from the wall snipped the wire and gone and they left a note saying thank you for your terrible security charlie hill is an art detective who .
Just a year before the scream was stolen had recovered another stolen masterpiece in antwerp for mia's lady writing a letter an english criminal who had been arrested in norway in a drugs matter went into the norwegian embassy here in london and said that he could get the picture back for five million .
Because he knew the people who'd done it so the norwegian chief of detectives came across and interviewed this guy charlie hill would need a perfect cover to pull off a sting to reclaim the scream the thieves needed to believe that he was willing to cough up some serious dough to get the painting back .
And the big spending getty museum were happy to oblige one of the detective sergeants flew to california and brought back a massive material to identify me as a member of the getty museum and then i used that .
To persuade the criminals when i got to oslo that i was a kosher getty museum employee and it was part of the pretense but it worked and it worked well because the getty were happy with it under a false name of chris roberts charlie hill got in contact with the suspects in oslo following a long drawn-out period of .
Negotiations charlie hill ventured out to a location 70 miles outside the city to hopefully bring this complicated plan of recovery to a brilliant conclusion he said to me as we went in but it's down there in the basement and they pulled the carpet back and there was a trap door .
The in the kitchen down and i just flew at him and told him no i'm not going down there to sit down there until next christmas you're going down there and it's there you bring it back up and he came up and there he had a picture in a blue sheet and he laid it down .
And flipped it back and i'll be damned as it turned out it was the back of the picture but monk had started it already and then i turned it over and i knew straight away it was the right picture because the thing about a masterpiece is it will tell you it's a masterpiece whether you're holding it in your hands or you're looking at it .
On the wall of a museum or wherever you're behind glass and a big frame it will tell you straight away it's a masterpiece the scream had been recovered but legal complications meant that the perpetrators of the theft were able to walk free then ten years after the first theft .
Another version of the scream was taken this time in broad daylight in 2004 the monk museum's version of the scream was also stolen on this occasion by armed thieves who rushed in and forced their way in and took the scream and another important painting madonna well they meant business they used guns um the .
Picture was missing for over two years well it's interesting that two separate versions of the scream were both stolen in oslo i mean they're both such iconic paintings and also extremely valuable financially so they were attempting targets for thieves the very thing that makes it so stealable of course stops anybody .
Being able to steal it which is its fame i would think bravado and stupidity would be two good reasons why he might try to steal it both this version of the scream and the madonna painting were recovered in 2006 but we know far less about how this police operation went down the next time that the screen would make .
International headlines was in 2012 when the least scene of the versions of the painting sold at auction for an astonishing 120 million dollars this particular version had been in the family of a norwegian businessman peter wilson for many many years and his family had been neighbours .
Of monk and turned out to be patrons friends so it's not one that had been seen it had been hidden from view in the same place which always makes value shoot up it was the most expensive painting which had ever been sold at that time but of course you only need two people at auction .
Who want a painting for it to push up the value if you look at what's happened to stock markets over the past 20 years they've gone like that and if you look at what's happened to the value of gilt-edged you know blue chip a-list art it's gone like that just like with van gogh's sunflowers monk's scream has come to symbolize the .
Artist the two of them share many similarities they both came to paris and were inspired by the great artists of the bell epoch especially paul gogan they were both unstable characters who forged their own artistic style but whereas vincent van gogh died in 1890 munk lived until old age .
The first part of his life mung is traveling all the time he's really living from a suitcase a lot of exhibitions a lot of parties a lot of relations and so on and then after his breakdown in 1908 he's coming back to his home country he's buying a big house a villa with a huge garden it's a .
Little bit above the town so he's looking down on the city it's a very remote place my breakthrough came very late in life only starting when i was 50 years old but at that time i felt as though i had the strength for new deeds and ideas he became more and more isolated and less involved with oslo society but most .
Importantly he continued to paint and he did a magnificent series of self-portraits he pinched himself again and again and again and what he sees is you know is disturbing and chilling i think monk may have wanted to live a reclusive life but that became impossible with the outbreak of world war ii .
in 1940 the germans invaded norway and monk was very concerned that his work would be confiscated by the nazis because the germans had regarded his paintings as degenerate all his works in germany were confiscated from all the museums they were sold in norway or in switzerland .
And moon didn't like it of course 82 pictures in german collections that were all taken off walls rather sweetly 71 of them are bought in time by norwegian collectors and brought back to norway which shows his status as the living norwegian painter i think he was very worried and he decided to give his .
Leave his estate to the municipality of oslo and that is the basis of the collection in the monk museum where it's just on view today from my rotting body flowers shall grow and i in them and that is eternity after monk's death the scream's .
International reputation would grow and grow it is an extraordinary work of art it represents something in western european and worldwide thought at the turn of the 20th century there was this terrific of apocalyptic fear the .
Picture i think spoke very directly to that fear um it was a very new looking picture it's crossed continents it's across cultures it's been on the simpsons to andy warhol it's an image that we all know covers of books and record sleeves and we see all the accretions of its .
Fame i think what is really well known is the face of the person in the middle this person who's screaming has become a sort of a symbol of angst or psychological disturbance this work really shows the basic fear of the human being so .
Everyone every visitor in this museum can put his own feelings in this painting so it's timeless you
Raiders of the Lost Art – Season 2: Episode 1 – Stealing ‘The Scream’ | History Documentary Watch ‘Raiders of the Lost Art – Season 2: Episode 2’ here: https://youtu.be/i6qoIBqyXsc Edward Munch’s “The Scream” is considered one of the most famous paintings in the world. That is why it is also very interesting for thieves. And sure enough, some managed to steal the picture and leave the following note: “thanks for the poor security”. Will the art theft agent Charly Hill succeed in tracking down the work of art worth over a hundred million dollars? ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Subscribe Free Documentary – History Channel for free: https://bit.ly/2FjRPgV Join the club and become a Free Documentary Patron: https://www.patreon.com/freedocumentary Facebook: https://bit.ly/2QfRxbG Twitter: https://bit.ly/2QlwRiI ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ #FreeDocumentary #Documentary #RaidersOfTheLostArt ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ Free Documentary – History is dedicated to bringing high-class documentaries to you on YouTube for free. You will see fascinating animations showing the past from a new perspective and explanations by renowned historians that make history come alive. Enjoy stories about people and events that formed the world we live in.