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Volcanoes + Art

In case you missed the news for the past week, a volcano has been erupting in Iceland since the end of March and while it’s been a boon for their country’s tourism, it’s been a detriment to others. The clouds of volcanic ash and mist caused by melting glaciers are shutting down airports all over Northern Europe. The list of countries not allowing for travel in and out of the country now stands at: UK, all of Scandinavia, Benelux, Germany, France, Hungary, Switzerland and Romania – which has caused massive pile-ups of travelers in airports around the world.
Ever since the first guy yelled, “Hey, look at that red stuff coming from the top of the mountain!” volcanoes have held a certain fascination for humans. I mean, why wouldn’t they? They are terrifying, mind-boggling and just really cool. So this had us thinking, what impact have volcanoes had on the arts?

In film, there have been 20 movies made about volcanoes and their awesome power of destruction. In 1997 alone there were two competing big budget Hollywood volcano flicks, Dante’s Peak and Volcano.
In music, we would never have this awesome song about Mount St. Helen erupting by The Lights Out.
In fine arts, without the destruction of Pompeii we could never have been able to better understand Roman culture and view so many well-preserved paintings from that time. And surprisingly, we might also not have had one of the most mimicked and referenced paintings in history, The Scream by Munch. Scientists have commented that Munch’s swirling red sky might have been influenced by the atmospheric conditions around the world in 1883 caused by the eruption of Krakatoa.
Find out more about Munch in Art + Travel.

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