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The Scream comes to the British Museum

Blog | By Harry Mount | Apr 10, 2019

This week, the British Museum is holding a major new Edvard Munch show, the biggest exhibition of his prints in 45 years.

The highlight will be Munch's The Scream – a rare black and white lithograph. It will be the first time any version of the picture is on show in Britain for a decade.

It is testament to the power of Munch's genius that The Scream is a great favourite among our cartoonists here at The Oldie – like this marvellous one by Gordon Gurvan.

For our new annual, The Best of The Oldie Cartoons, David Abberton compiled a list of the most popular subjects among cartoonists.

‘The most obvious trope is the Desert Island but there are others,’ David says, ‘In no particular order, these are wife-hating; the grim reaper; aliens; cats; the guru on the mountain top; Mexicans; Heaven; mobiles and “How’s My [insert theme]”. There are honourable mentions for Munch’s Scream, giraffes, igloos and Excalibur (usually emerging from a lavatory).’

It is a rare gift for an artist to come up with an image that is so instantly recognisable, adaptable and given to comic reinvention.