The Scream Illusion


Anyone 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.

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch

  • Anonymous

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

  • jesse

    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.

  • Anonymous

    It is pretty cool.

  • Anonymous

    it was painted by Edvard Munch in 1893

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch (1863-1944)

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Arne Midtlund

    “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).

  • Katarina

    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.

  • Anonymous

    The original artist is Edvard Munch.

  • Luis Gerardo

    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.

  • Justin

    Edvard Munch is the original artist.

    Great illusion.

  • puck

    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.

  • azrdraco

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

  • AcidRain64

    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.


  • Anonymous

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

  • Joey

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

  • Oenone

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

  • Anonymous

    The Scream was painted by Edvard Munch.

  • Anonymous

    Artist was called Edvard Munch

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

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

  • jinks

    cool illusion!
    the painting was by Edvard Munch

  • KIKE

    the painting is by edward munch…

  • scentedxsharkattack

    Edvard Munch is the artist.

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

  • slashcat


  • Kevin

    the origin is from edward munch

  • Anonymous


  • lance

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

  • Anonymous

    The Scream is by Edvard Munch

  • patch

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Gabi D.

    Edvard Munch, right?

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Dave McMann

    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!


  • Rune

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

    BTW nice illusion.

  • Jose

    Was painted by Edvard Munch

  • Venky

    One of the best illusions I have ever seen !!

  • Mike


    *twitch twitch*

  • Anonymous

    Simply Amazing!!!

  • Anonymous

    The artist is norwegian artist Edvard Munch

  • macromania

    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.

  • Kaan

    Edvard Munch 1863–1944!

  • Shane

    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.

  • Anonymous

    This is an illusion?? c’mon

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch, I think

  • Anonymous

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

  • Fink Productions


  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Anonymous

    Edward Munch is the artist.

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    yeah the first comment:WOW

  • Karl

    The artist is Edvard Munch from Norway.

  • Anonymous

    It´s Edward Munch´s painting (Norwegian)

    Great illusion!

  • Anonymous

    The orginal artist is Edvard Munch ;)

  • evee44

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

  • FirePaw

    Thats awesome! Very spooky. :D

  • Anonymous

    i think i’m going to be sick

  • Chris

    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.

  • Tine

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Emily


  • Anonymous

    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.

  • SAM

    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! :-)

  • Anonymous

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

  • Yevhen

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

  • Anonymous

    That gave me a seizure

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch is the artist, very cool!

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    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

  • Anonymous

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

  • MadsHarley

    The painters name is Edward Munch – German I think…

  • Anonymous

    first comment

  • rnemec
  • rmavrakes

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

  • Anonymous

    It was made by Edvard Munch

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    Salvador Dali is the artist :)

  • Paul


    It was painted by Edvard Munch.

  • David

    the artist’s name is edvard munch

  • Aaron

    Edvard Munch

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch was the original artist. Cool illusion!

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    The name of the original artist is Edvard Munch

  • Anonymous

    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!

  • Blackbeard

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

  • Think Of The Sea

    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.

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch.

  • Arctic monkeys rock

    Edward munch

  • patty

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

  • Anonymous

    Awsome! Totally love it!

  • Anonymous

    i like this one

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


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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Kevin

    I absolutely LOVE these illusions. Really cool!!

  • Shru

    The best inverting illusion yet! ;3

  • Anonymous

    so exactly how many frames are there?

    ….first comment

  • Mengisette

    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 (, everything is shaded by using steppling ( 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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • acushla

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

  • Anonymous

    kinda creapy…

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    It’s kinda freaky. But very nice :)

  • Anonymous

    Kinda freaky, but nice. :)

  • Salvatore

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • A Munch fan from DK

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

  • Anonymous

    so tight

  • Trine Lyberth

    The original painting is made by Edvard Munch

  • Homfrog

    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

  • Anonymous

    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’.

  • Andriuch

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Sandra

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

  • Werner

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

    Web Museum
    Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway

  • su’aco

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

  • Anonymous

    This is a very neat illusion
    First comment!

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous


  • Stine

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

  • Alyssa


  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    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!!!

  • charmed

    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.

  • giuseppe

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    The Scream was painted by Edvard Munch.

  • Rachel

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

  • alishaaaaaa

    that’s cool :D

  • 3rd

    this is cool

  • Alberto

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

  • Anonymous

    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. :)


  • Ryan

    Edvard Munch…my wife was an art major…

  • rachel

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

  • Julian

    edvard munch
    pretty cool effect btw

  • Anonymous

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

  • Tim’s Movie Site

    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.

  • jean-charles

    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.

  • Anonymous


    First of all congratulations for you page.

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

  • Anonymous

    Edvard Munch. Very cool!

  • Darryl

    The original painting is by Edvard Munch.

  • sarah

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

  • Anonymous

    bravo… ma Korcula je zakon!
    RI baby :)

  • Anonymous

    This is the “scream” by Edward Munk.

  • Jose

    awesome invert animation. <3

  • Heather

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

  • Rebecca


  • Anonymous

    his name was Edvard Munch

  • Anonymous

    Cool how it’s moving but kinda freeky.

  • eva_s

    First Com!!!

  • M@

    Original painting is Edward Munch

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Edvaard Munch

  • zhechnia

    I’m soooo addicted to this web

  • Sergej

    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?

  • Anonymous

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

    good eye illusion by the way. =]

  • Anonymous

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

  • Anonymous

    Artist was Edvard Munch.
    Great illusion

  • y-man

    Edward munch

  • Danger Machine

    whoa… the links here are really getting mad…

  • Anonymous

    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

  • Patrick

    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

      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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • Mysticfett

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

  • spaceguyp

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

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I’m new – please be kind.

    How do I open these optical illusions?


  • Anonymous

    Very interesting! Makes me dizzy!

  • Anonymous

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

  • Pedro

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

  • Anonymous

    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..

  • Yatti420

    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?

  • Robert

    thats trippy as hell

  • Mike

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

  • Anonymous

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

  • That Guy

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

  • Peter

    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 ;-)

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • Anonymous

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

  • florencia

    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

  • mango~~

    omg that is soooooo cool!

  • anonymous


  • Sammy

    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).

  • !!me!!

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

  • Special ED

    I see some people headbanging in the background.

  • lolipop101

    Ok im scared now

  • liam

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

  • someone u dont know

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

  • Kalle Kanin

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

  • weird chick who posts comments on illusions

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

  • Danilo


    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!


  • coolkid mcawesome


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

  • Erinski

    Edward Munch is the artist

  • Adrian

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

  • Codallday

    creepy but ಠ▃ಠ this animation LOLZ

  • Princess

    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.

  • awesome peps

    that thing is awesome how did u they do that

  • Haleigh

    what are the people in the top left doing?

  • gogirl552


  • Virginia

    Starry Night like this would probably look awesome!

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