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By on August 6, 2007, with 211 Comments

The Scream IllusionAnyone recognizes the painting on the left? It is one of the most famous paintings called “The Scream“. When I was a young kid, I thought it was painted by Van Gogh, but I was terribly wrong. Do you know the name of the original artist? Well, I received this variation in my mailbox yesterday. It was sent by Joey Kuna including explanation: “I found this on one of my friend’s myspace and just thought it was cool the way it seems to move just from inverting color. It’s a small image but feel free to use it if you want.”

The animation gives you impression of clouds floating, faces growing and backgrounds changing – In fact it’s just a simple composition of just a few frames, and inverted colors. We’ve seen many similar illusions in the past on this site. I’m still on the island of Korcula, so please be patient in your wait for new illusions.


211 Responses
  1. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch

  2. Anonymous says:

    i think the artists name is some weird spelling that sounds like monk. i dont remember the spelling though.

  3. jesse says:

    thats not a real illusion. if you look at it frame by frame, the clouds actually do move. please check out the authenticity of the pics before you post them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    It is pretty cool.

  5. Anonymous says:

    it was painted by Edvard Munch in 1893

  6. Anonymous says:

    the name of the artist is edward munch i think yay first comment

  7. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch (1863-1944)

  8. Anonymous says:

    weird… why is everything moving (or seem to move…)? oh.. and i hate that flashing… i think i’m the first one…

  9. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch (possibly Edward) is the name of the Norwegian artist that painted this painting.

  10. Arne Midtlund says:

    “The Scream” (Skrik) is of course painted by the norwegian artist Edvard Munch. A few years ago it was stolen from the Munch-museum i Oslo, but it has now returned (a bit damaged).

  11. Katarina says:

    Author of this painting is Edvard Munch, Norwegian expressionist/symbolist painter born in 1863. The title of this painting is “The Scream”, painted in 1893.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The original artist is Edvard Munch.

  13. Luis Gerardo says:

    It was worth waiting, nice ilussion. The scream here is not a painting, it’s a lithograph created from the original in order to ease its reproduction in printed media, it was created by Edvard Munch.

  14. Justin says:

    Edvard Munch is the original artist.

    Great illusion.

  15. puck says:

    It doesn’t just seem to move, it’s an animated gif. If you look at the individual slices there are 2 different positives and 2 different negatives, each slightly shifted.

  16. azrdraco says:

    Edvard Munch painted The Scream. :) I love impressionism.

  17. AcidRain64 says:

    My perception is very good, and I could tell the image actually IS moving, not just inverting. The illusion of movement is not an illusion, it’s real. The “illusion” here is believing there is an illusion! :-P Go extract the frames of this GIF yourself! There are 4 of them :-)

    Furthermore, just so people know, even if it were only two frames consisting of ONLY an inversion of color and there appeared to be movement.. there still very well may actually be movement (with CRT monitors). The screen literally distorts (enlarges/stretches) when going from black to white. Try flashing black and white fullscreen very quickly, you will notice the sides of your screen literally bulge out on the white frames.


  18. Anonymous says:

    That’s pretty awesome! I like the face growing………

  19. Joey says:

    i sent this in wheeey!
    great to see something i sent in became optical illusion of the day :D

  20. Oenone says:

    That really is a great animation. It can be mind blowing how one little change can have a tremendous effect.

  21. Anonymous says:

    The Scream was painted by Edvard Munch.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Artist was called Edvard Munch

  23. Anonymous says:

    The painter’s name is Edvard Munch and The Scream had been stole few years ago. I believed they found it recently, but it is n a very bad condition now. That’s sad.

    Anyway, the illusion is quite fun!

  24. Anonymous says:


  25. Anonymous says:

    oh that is so cool…it looks like its actually moving.i love it. MaRs_KiD99

  26. jinks says:

    cool illusion!
    the painting was by Edvard Munch

  27. KIKE says:

    the painting is by edward munch…

  28. scentedxsharkattack says:

    Edvard Munch is the artist.

    Really neat illusion i has to watch for awhile to make sure there wasn’t something tricky goin on.

  29. slashcat says:


  30. Kevin says:

    the origin is from edward munch

  31. Anonymous says:


  32. lance says:

    it’s by edward munch. (pronounced (moonch) not (munch)).

  33. Anonymous says:

    The Scream is by Edvard Munch

  34. patch says:

    that is what i call a great illusion. i know that it is actually not moving, but it definitely looks like it.

  35. Anonymous says:

    The artist for ‘The Scream’ is edward munch. I think that’s how you spell it.

  36. Gabi D. says:

    Edvard Munch, right?

  37. Anonymous says:

    I found a picture of “The Scream” in my neurologists’ office. The writing that went with it described how it feels to have chronic migraines.
    Having chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia myself, I’d be the first to say the picture is a perfect description of the horrors of both syndromes.

  38. Dave McMann says:

    Vurdlak, you HAVE to get us a new illusion soon! At least just ONE more so I don’t have to look at this dizzying image on my widgets for 2 weeks!! I’m going to puke on my screen!


  39. Rune says:

    “The Scream” or “Skrik” is painted by Edvard Munch, Norway in 1893.

    BTW nice illusion.

  40. Jose says:

    Was painted by Edvard Munch

  41. Venky says:

    One of the best illusions I have ever seen !!

  42. Mike says:


    *twitch twitch*

  43. Anonymous says:

    Simply Amazing!!!

  44. Anonymous says:

    The artist is norwegian artist Edvard Munch

  45. macromania says:

    wow! i love what’s been done to the painting… it’s made it a really cool illusion. nice job! anyway, the scream was painted by Norwegian artist, Edvard Munch.

  46. Kaan says:

    Edvard Munch 1863–1944!

  47. Shane says:

    i definitely find this just slightly disturbing. i love the painting, and already felt it was a perfect way to describe fear, despair, oppression, and the like. when you add the crazy color changes with inversion of colors, its just amplified. its hard on the eyes after a while. i do enjoy it however

    btw artist = edward munch
    and he was norwegian painted in 1893 in national gallery of oslo norway.

  48. Anonymous says:

    This is an illusion?? c’mon

  49. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch, I think

  50. Anonymous says:

    Please take this thing off the widget! It’s making me scream each time I go to my dashboard!

  51. Fink Productions says:


  52. Anonymous says:

    Reminds me of some basic animation techniques. This is pretty cool. Thanks (as always) for posting all these really neat and often amazing works. You’ve become a daily trek!

  53. Anonymous says:

    Edward Munch is the artist.

  54. Anonymous says:

    ed munch is the original artist? cool pic.hi mom…

  55. Anonymous says:

    yeah the first comment:WOW

  56. Karl says:

    The artist is Edvard Munch from Norway.

  57. Anonymous says:

    It´s Edward Munch´s painting (Norwegian)

    Great illusion!

  58. Anonymous says:

    The orginal artist is Edvard Munch ;)

  59. evee44 says:

    His head looks like its gonna explode! FIRST COMMENT! BANG! I think his head did explode…

  60. FirePaw says:

    Thats awesome! Very spooky. :D

  61. Anonymous says:

    i think i’m going to be sick

  62. Chris says:

    hah cool the face growing is best bit. and the way the clouds flow and appear to be continuous. the fence bit looks a bit crap though.

  63. Tine says:

    The artists name is Edvard Munch,Norvegian, 1863 – 1944

  64. Anonymous says:

    lol. im fifteen and even i know it’s by edvard munch. tchuh!^^

  65. Anonymous says:

    Hey,, this painting was made by norwegian painter Edward Munch around 1893, and is actually painted in two versions. Munch made the picture after a strange expererience he had during a walk, where he suddenly had the feeling of a terryfying scream from everything in the nature around him. One of the two versions was stolen some years ago, and suffered so much damage, that it could not be repaired.

  66. SAM says:

    I loved this image so much that I am going to use it on a post dedicated on fear and the jornalism lack of freedom in countries like Iran.

    I have been enjoying your blog since I first found it and have just linked it.

    Keep on the good work! :-)

  67. Anonymous says:

    The Scream was painted by Edvard Munch in 1893. I feel this way without coffee.

  68. Yevhen says:

    Were nice! Simple gif animation and s o dramatical effect.

  69. Anonymous says:

    That gave me a seizure

  70. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch is the artist, very cool!

  71. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch is the artist in question! Very cool illusion! Thanks

  72. Anonymous says:

    Scream (Skrik, 1893) is a seminal series of expressionist paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. It is said by some to symbolize the human species overwhelmed by an attack of existential angst.[1] The landscape in the background is Oslofjord, viewed from the hill of Ekeberg. The Norwegian word skrik is usually translated as “scream”, but is cognate with the English shriek. Occasionally, the painting has been called The Cry.

    A (66 x 83.5 cm) version of this piece appears in the Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway (see gallery), and an oil, tempera, and pastel on cardboard (measuring 91 x 73.5 cm) in the National Gallery of Norway (shown to right). A third version is also owned by the Munch Museum, and a fourth is owned by Norwegian billionaire Petter Olsen. Munch later also translated the picture into a lithograph (see gallery), so the image could be reproduced in reviews all over the world. Since 1994, two separate versions of Scream have been stolen by art thieves, but both were eventually recovered.
    from wikipedia

  73. Anonymous says:

    The name of the original artist was Edvard Munch. Trippy!

  74. MadsHarley says:

    The painters name is Edward Munch – German I think…

  75. Anonymous says:

    first comment

  76. rmavrakes says:

    This is pretty cool. I actually have this print hanging in my house. The original artists’name is Edvard Munch *Last name pronounced Munk*

  77. Anonymous says:

    It was made by Edvard Munch

  78. Anonymous says:

    Ooooooooooo! That is ever so slightly hynotising. I can’t look at it or else I watch it for ages. The original artist was Edvard Munch and I used to think it was a Van Gogh too. That is one seriously cool animation.

  79. Anonymous says:

    Salvador Dali is the artist :)

  80. Paul says:


    It was painted by Edvard Munch.

  81. David says:

    the artist’s name is edvard munch

  82. Aaron says:

    Edvard Munch

  83. Anonymous says:

    It’s by Edvard Munch. The painting was stolen a few years back, but they found it

  84. Anonymous says:

    I am assuming the web author knows the artist’s name is Edward Munch (sometimes Edvard Munch); a Norwegian expressionist painter, I believe in the late 1800′s. According to wikipedia the Scream was composed in 1893. This “illusion” is pretty cool, but I am curious as to the comment, “In fact it’s just a simple composition of just a few frames…” Does anyone know exactly how many. I think my eye can discern three.

  85. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch was the original artist. Cool illusion!

  86. Anonymous says:

    The original is by Edward Munch, anyone should know that :-)

  87. Anonymous says:

    The name of the original artist is Edvard Munch

  88. Anonymous says:

    That illusion is going to drive me insane!!! …I looked at it for 3 seconds and had more than enough. This one is a real nerve wrecker!

  89. Blackbeard says:

    Edvard Munch is the artist, the painting was stolen a while ago, not sure if its been returned yet or not.

  90. Think Of The Sea says:

    The mystery painter was Edvard Munch. Where is everybody? No comments in 2 days . . . . I guess everyone’s on vacation, btw hope you’re having an awesome time Vurdlak.

  91. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch.

  92. Arctic monkeys rock says:

    Edward munch

  93. patty says:

    this is one of the best illusions yet! it has nice graphics too.

  94. Anonymous says:

    Awsome! Totally love it!

  95. Anonymous says:

    i like this one

    but how come when i copy it to paint and invert them fast it doesnt look the same?

  96. PJJMDCC says:

    Heum, I think the author of the original paint is Edward Munch or something like that. Nice illusion thought!

  97. Anonymous says:

    This illsion is so weird, i could stare at it all day

  98. Kevin says:

    I absolutely LOVE these illusions. Really cool!!

  99. Shru says:

    The best inverting illusion yet! ;3

  100. Anonymous says:

    so exactly how many frames are there?

    ….first comment

  101. Mengisette says:

    This painting was done my Edvard Munch. If you want to take a look at several drawings that mess with your eyes, check into MC Escher. For his painting, Waterfall (http://britton.disted.camosun.bc.ca/escher/waterfall.jpg), everything is shaded by using steppling (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stippling). I find that totally mind boggling. I have just started in the past month or so viewing this site, so I dont know if you have posted any of his work in the past.

  102. Anonymous says:

    The painter’s name is Edvard Munch. vurdlak, you’re awesome! Nice name too.

  103. acushla says:

    had to read the caption before i realized the illusion. but it’s great. :)

  104. Anonymous says:

    kinda creapy…

  105. Anonymous says:

    The painting is by a Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, made in 1893.


  106. Anonymous says:

    It’s kinda freaky. But very nice :)

  107. Anonymous says:

    Kinda freaky, but nice. :)

  108. Salvatore says:

    The picture was painted by Edvard Munch, a great Norwish artist!

  109. Anonymous says:

    The artists name is edvard munch… he was an expressionist artist. It is commonly seen as a visual response to agoraphobia… fear of wide open spaces.

  110. A Munch fan from DK says:

    The painter’s name is Edward munch, he comes from Norway and has painted a lot of other pictures worthy of beeing seen….

  111. Anonymous says:

    so tight

  112. Trine Lyberth says:

    The original painting is made by Edvard Munch

  113. Homfrog says:

    Okay, the artist who created ‘The Scream’ is named Edvard Munch. Secondly, the animation has four frames. It is not moving just from invertion alone. Watch the distant people if you don’t believe me. And finally, this illusion is cool, rather, it would have been if I hadn’t gone and spoiled it. :P
    Yeah that’s it. -Homfrog

  114. Anonymous says:

    aye, the artist is actually called Edvard Munch. Funny, i still seem to think it works better incolour although this makes it appear to ‘move’.

  115. Andriuch says:

    Not is only inverting color, the picture is moving, there’re 4 layers, 2 in white and 2 in black…
    Not is an illusion

  116. Anonymous says:

    A very appropriate animation of the SCREAM by Norwegian pre-expressionist painter Edward Munch.

  117. Sandra says:

    The artist is Edvard Munch (pronounced moonk) This is one of my favorites as well.

  118. Werner says:

    The Norwegian artist Edvard Munch painted “Skrig” (Scream) in 1893, and later in 3 different versions.

    Web Museum
    Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway

  119. su'aco says:

    Korcula, in Croatia? nice :) well i’m here for the first time, and the picture is… odd,hipnotizing

  120. Anonymous says:

    This is a very neat illusion
    First comment!

  121. Anonymous says:

    The painter is from Norway amd his name is Edvard Munch. The painting was stolen few years ago, but is found again. Unfortunately the stupid thevees have destroyed the painting beyound repair.

  122. Anonymous says:

    That’s pretty neat. Haven’t seen an illusion like this before.

  123. Anonymous says:

    I normally really enjoy the daily optical illusions, but I really dislike this one…what an eye sore! Please change!!

  124. Anonymous says:


  125. Stine says:

    The artist who created the original for this animation was Edvard Munch.

  126. Alyssa says:


  127. Anonymous says:

    Next time you leave an illusion up for a few days, can it not be something that could cause a seizure? I had to remove the gadget from my google because I couldn’t look at it anymore.

  128. Anonymous says:


  129. Anonymous says:

    Hello Vurdlak. The painter is Edward Munch from Norway.It was stolen from a museum in Oslo, Norway, about two years ago,but it returned a half year later. Great site!!!

  130. charmed says:

    first comment, neat!! I’ve been in and out of this site so often over the last while, it’s about time I posted. Fab pic, original by Edvard Munch.

  131. giuseppe says:

    the painting is from edward munch…
    nice illusion thou :)

  132. Anonymous says:

    You are liars I got thes on MS paint and inverted it at the same speed and 0 happend.

  133. Anonymous says:

    The Scream was painted by Edvard Munch.

  134. Rachel says:

    Weird but cool!
    The artist’s name was Edward Munch of Norway.

  135. alishaaaaaa says:

    that’s cool :D

  136. 3rd says:

    this is cool

  137. Alberto says:

    The painter’s name is:
    Edvard Munch
    You can find interesting information here:


  138. Anonymous says:

    Yeah I’ve always loved this painting…it’s brilliant. The artist (I believe) is Edvard Munch. It was actually stolen back in the early 90′s and then just recently recovered…I think it’s in Europe somewhere now. :)


  139. Ryan says:

    Edvard Munch…my wife was an art major…

  140. rachel says:

    I really like this illusion. It’s very simple but it looks really cool….. and kind of creepy hehe

  141. Julian says:

    edvard munch
    pretty cool effect btw

  142. Anonymous says:

    I like these type of animations, you can make them in CS3 or Barbosa gif. maker. oh and by the way…. FIRST POST W00T!

  143. Tim's Movie Site says:

    Please Please Please – no more flashing illusions! They give me a headache and I can’t even navigate to my homepage (Where your gadget is) without being hurt. Nice illusion, I just hate the flashing.

  144. jean-charles says:

    sorry there is not just a color invert to do this.if you open the gif in a application like imageready, you can see there is 4 frame (two with one color and two inverted) but each of two are a little differentthan the first. i’m sorry for my english or if you don’t understand what i’m saying.
    but in the end the illusion of face growing, cloud moving… are excelent when you know what are the 4 original pictures.

  145. Anonymous says:


    First of all congratulations for you page.

    The artist who painted “The Scream” was Edvard Munch. Visit Wikipedia for more info.

  146. Anonymous says:

    Edvard Munch. Very cool!

  147. Darryl says:

    The original painting is by Edvard Munch.

  148. sarah says:

    Edwin Munsch I believe, although my spelling may be horribly wrong…

  149. Anonymous says:

    bravo… ma Korcula je zakon!
    RI baby :)

  150. Anonymous says:

    This is the “scream” by Edward Munk.

  151. Jose says:

    awesome invert animation. <3

  152. Heather says:

    the original artist’s name was edward munch. love this picture.

  153. Rebecca says:


  154. Anonymous says:

    his name was Edvard Munch

  155. Anonymous says:

    Cool how it’s moving but kinda freeky.

  156. eva_s says:

    First Com!!!

  157. M@ says:

    Original painting is Edward Munch

  158. Anonymous says:

    The original artist is Edvard Munch. Yay art class.




  159. Anonymous says:

    Edvaard Munch

  160. zhechnia says:

    I’m soooo addicted to this web

  161. Sergej says:

    I just have to say that I removed your gadget because of this illusion. Put simply, the strobing and contrast hurts eyes. Not just mine, just eyes in general. Shouldn’t you have a seizure warning or something of the sort?

  162. Anonymous says:

    can someone stop that thing from endless looping? loop twice is enough! i really makes me dizzy. lol.

    good eye illusion by the way. =]

  163. Anonymous says:

    Well, to answere your question of who is the original painter of “the scream”. It is a norweigan painter by the name Edvard Munch.

  164. Anonymous says:

    Artist was Edvard Munch.
    Great illusion

  165. y-man says:

    Edward munch

  166. Danger Machine says:

    whoa… the links here are really getting mad…

  167. Anonymous says:

    text says
    “it seems to move just from inverting color.”
    This is not true. If you slow the frames, there is movement interspersed with the color inversion

  168. Patrick says:

    Just wanted you to know that I had to delete your widget because it was just too annoying to have the darn thing blinking on my screen for days.

    • Haleigh says:

      The man has a life, you know. He has other things to do besides amusing us. Just because he wasn’t able to put a new illusion up for a while, it doesn’t give you the right to put him down, or bash him. And to all of you who took down your widget, by all means you have the right to. But you don’t have to tell the world. He knows that he won’t always be able to keep his fans, he can’t keep everyone happy. But you all are depressed, rude, and NEED A LIFE!! Thank you.

  169. Anonymous says:

    There has been NO posts for ages. ARRGHHHHHH!!!

  170. Mysticfett says:

    The artist’s name for the orignial work was Edvard Munch.

  171. spaceguyp says:

    ok every one we know who the artist is! now can we have a new illusion

  172. Anonymous says:


  173. Anonymous says:

    I’m new – please be kind.

    How do I open these optical illusions?


  174. Anonymous says:

    Very interesting! Makes me dizzy!

  175. Anonymous says:

    We need new posts on at least an every other day frequency. If you take a job do it. Be responsible.
    Quit making excuses.

  176. Pedro says:

    not an illusion, ive checked it with adobe flash, its a moving loop

  177. Anonymous says:

    well I like it..illusion or not..
    I like illusions anyhow..
    the only thing is that this one really make my eyes hurt and dizzy.
    new blog for me..

  178. Yatti420 says:

    You could give somebody an epileptic seizure with that image!… I hope everybody is ok \\ is their any warnings on site of something like dat?

  179. Robert says:

    thats trippy as hell

  180. Mike says:

    So change the bloody thing already
    how long you going to leave it up ?
    This used to be amusing now its just absurd!

  181. Anonymous says:

    yea jesse is right its just a picture of scream and you just added a frame by frame you 2 votes say that.

  182. That Guy says:

    Not an illusion. Extract the Gif to see. But still, it fools a lot of people.

  183. Peter says:

    Yes, jesse’s is right.
    First I thought that this was edited, not only by inverting colors in different parts of the image at a time. But then I read the article and believed in what you wrote…
    I found it so unelievable and cool, that I wanted to see the diferent images used to produce this animation and realized, that my first thought was right, that you can’t reach such a movement by just inverting the colors…
    J’m a bit disappointed…

    Still, I like this page ;-)

  184. Anonymous says:

    when i look at the face, it creeps me out >.<

    The illusion is not the fact that it's moving at all, but that it seems to keep on going.

  185. Anonymous says:

    This is for all the obnoxious smart asses on here…SHUT THE HELL UP!!..who cares how smart u r…

  186. florencia says:

    ok love this site but theres something I recomend for this tipe of images dont put them on the front page cause hepileptic people like me can see this image just because of the flashing I dont know I just say it so someone dosent have a problem

    Ok im saying it again love the site

  187. mango~~ says:

    omg that is soooooo cool!

  188. anonymous says:


  189. Sammy says:

    Download the GIF, look at it in Adobe Imageready or any appropriate application. It’s a hoax. The image is undergoing distortion other than the inversion. It consists of many frames (more than two).

  190. !!me!! says:

    agh. so scary realy its not dat scary to me. Weird huh?

  191. Special ED says:

    I see some people headbanging in the background.

  192. lolipop101 says:

    Ok im scared now

  193. liam says:

    this scared the f*#k out of me when i saw it lol

  194. someone u dont know says:

    me too lol ugh so much loops though i got sp dizzy…….

  195. Kalle Kanin says:

    Strange how foreigners can’t get Edvard Munch’s name spelled correctly…

  196. weird chick who posts comments on illusions says:

    that scares me. i wanna go home mommy!! :’(

  197. Danilo says:


    I consider this no more of an optical illusion than disney’s cartoons, since it’s not made only by inversion, but actually by several DIFFERENT FRAMES. Things are really in different places in different frames, so it is an animation!


  198. coolkid mcawesome says:


  199. Kool Kid says:

    Oh Yeah We Had To Draw This In Art. Creepy.

  200. Erinski says:

    Edward Munch is the artist

  201. Adrian says:

    Kris is correct. It IS animated. 2 of each inversion each moved slightly.

  202. Codallday says:

    creepy but ಠ▃ಠ this animation LOLZ

  203. Princess says:

    Did the guy paint this online if it was recent. And if not, how is everything moving?

    This painting is in our art room at school so I thought a kid painted it, but boy was I wrong.

  204. awesome peps says:

    that thing is awesome how did u they do that

  205. Haleigh says:

    what are the people in the top left doing?

  206. gogirl552 says:


  207. Virginia says:

    Starry Night like this would probably look awesome!

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