This piece is part of a series of expressionist paintings by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch. "The Scream" shows the influences of Touluse-Lautrec, Van Gogh and Gauguin, all three influencing Munch’s work. It is an image of fear, terryfing and unreasoned fear like that of a nightmare. Some believe it symbolizes the human species, overcome with existential angst. The rhythm of the long, wavy lines carries carry the echo of the scream into each and every corner of the picture, making the earth and sky one great sounding-board of fear. On Sunday, 22 August 2004, armed robbers stole the original iconic Edvard Munch painting, from the Munch Museum in Norway. Two masked thieves pulled the work off the wall, as well as another of his paintings, "Madonna," as stunned visitors watched. Although no one was hurt during the incident, one robber threatened staff with a gun before the pair escaped in a waiting car. As noted by a French radio producer, the security at the museum was anything but tight. The thieves were able to simply grab the paintings and pull them off the walls without any alarms sounding. The two paintings have both since been recovered with only minor damage.