Original Tomb of Peruvian Mummy which Inspired Munch's Scream

It may seem odd to see Edvard Munch's name in the news alongside archeological findings, but the recent rediscovery of a tomb in the Peruvian amazon has caused just that: the exact site where the mummy which inspired Munch's "Scream"- one of the most reproduced paintings in the world- was discovered in the Peruvian Amazon was located last week.

The Norwegian painter's most iconic work, The Scream, is renowned worldwide for the psychological turmoil it depicts. Several art historians have attested that the painting is based on the mummy of a Chachapoyas warrior which was discovered 130 years ago near the Utcubamba River and taken to Paris to be displayed in an exhibition at the Ethnographic Exchange Museum.

Art historian Wayne V. Anderson's hypothesis that the mummy first inspired Paul Gauguin was confirmed by investigator Stefan Ziemendorff upon finding a book of sketches of the mummy. A decade later, art historian Robert Rosenblum established that Munch's famous painting was also based on the mummy.

While walking with friends one evening, Munch had a vision in which the faces of his companions paled and a "huge endless scream course through nature" (as Munch himself described in a letter about the painting). Wishing to paint his vision, he used the Peruvian mummy as a model, probably inspired by Gauguin.

Now, Ziemendorff has announced that the site where the warrior's mummy, as well as three others which were not taken to Paris, has been located thanks to details included in the chronicle written by Pierre Vidal-Senèze, who discovered and sacked the tomb in search of objects to sell in Europe.

Chachapoyas, located in the Amazonas region of Peru, is known mainly for the ruins of Kuelap Fortress (built by the culture of the same name), warriors' mummies, and its carved sarcophogi.

Inca World Team
Publication date: 14 Dic 2013
Sources: <a href=" https://plus.google.com/u/0/107060027985626386869/about?tab=XX?rel=author">Carla Colon</a>

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