Lasse Jacobsen, a exploration librarian at the Munch Museum in Oslo who performs with Munch’s collected writings, verified Guleng’s results. The infrared images, he mentioned, produced it “much less difficult to see the text, and there are some letters in his handwriting that are genuinely unique, like the N, or the D, which turns up at the conclusion. So when I saw it there I imagined, ‘This is Munch.’”

The 2008 Munch catalog raisonné, a complete examine of his operates by the art historian Gerd Woll, recommended that the phrase had been scrawled by a vandal. “At minimum that is how it was perceived in 1904,” when it was exhibited in Copenhagen, she writes, “that a tactless hand has written in pencil.” In an electronic mail to The New York Moments, Woll claimed that the new proof from Guleng “strongly factors to Munch himself as the writer.”

Even though the Countrywide Museum in Norway was in the process of restoring and examining the work in planning for the opening of its new museum in 2022, Guleng took the option to take care of the issue about the textual content.

“It was bizarre to me that there was this kind of little curiosity about this inscription, simply because it is a incredibly peculiar thing to produce on your very own portray,” she said.

Munch probably wrote the sentence on his portray in 1895, according to Guleng, just after his exhibition of new operate at the Blomqvist gallery in Oslo. During a debate about the exhibition at the College of Oslo’s College students Association just one night, a professional medical college student, Johan Scharffenberg claimed the artwork gave him rationale to question the artist’s psychological condition, calling Munch abnormal and a “madman.” Munch was deeply hurt, stated Jacobsen, and wrote about it even a long time later on.

Guleng believes the inscription is written with irony and displays the two soreness at staying attacked and anxiety of remaining regarded as mentally ill. “By composing this inscription in the clouds, he took possession, in a way, or he took manage of how he was to be perceived and understood,” she reported.