On August 26th 1883 the Krakatoa eruption ejected more than 25 cubic kilometres of rock, ash, pumice and generated the loudest sound historically reported at 180 Decibels. The cataclysmic explosion was rumored to have been heard as far of Perth, Australia approx. 1,930 miles (3,110 km), and the island of Rodrigues near Mauritius approx. 3,000 miles (5,000 km) away from the eruptions caldera.

alt text

The tephra sent adrift from the eruption spread very far, causing reddened skies in many distant places. The famous expressionist painter Edvard Munch, best known for his painting 'The Scream' (painted in 1893), is thought by some too have been inspired by the eruption of Krakatoa.

Munch noted on a pastel version of 'The Scream' that: “The atmosphere turned to blood – with glaring tongues of fire – the hills became deep blue – the fjord shaded into cold blue – among the yellow and red colours – that garish blood-red – on the road – and the railing – my companions’ faces became yellow-white – I felt something like a great scream – and truly I heard a great scream.”

alt text

It should be noted that many scholars do not agree with this theory however it is interesting to think about, historically their are numerous incidents where events could have inspired artwork.