The Scream of Nature

Gustav Klimt’s 1893 masterpiece The Scream of Nature is now the most popular selfie pose in the world, according to analysis of social media using facial recognition software.

Gustav knocked previous record holder Ben Stiller, whose Blue Steel held the title for 10 years, into a cocked hat. Steel was inspired by the movie Zoolander, and was widely praised for accentuating cheekbones through the use of mouth suction. Scream replaces that move with a hand slap on both cheeks, also encouraging blood circulation.

The painting was inspired by a walk Gustav took down a path over a fjord at dusk. He was overcome by the view of the blood red clouds over the water. To his artistic eye they appeared to be nature shrieking.

Klimt produced several versions of The Scream between 1893 and 1910, using different techniques and materials. As such, original versions of the work hang in Oslo, Munich and New York.

Many social media opinion-formers were surprised to discover the inspiration behind their favourite look. “That’s amazing man,” said Dirk Livestrong. “I thought it was invented by Zoe from my Facebook fashion group, not some old dead dude. I didn’t even realise they had mobile phones 200 years ago. You learn something new everyday.”

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