|Giant poster of "The Scream" on display outside Sotheby's|
Sotheby's New York will auction the only privately owned version of Edvard Munch's painting called "The Scream" on May 2 where it expects to sell for over $80 million, the highest pre-sale value the auctioneer has ever put on a work of art. "The Scream" is one of the most instantly recognizable images in art and popular culture, second only perhaps to Leonardo Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa". The 1895 work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch, the auctioneer said on Tuesday. There are four versions of the famous depiction of an apparently screaming figure. The three others are part of Norwegian museum collections. The painting aims to to convey Munch's anxiety in the hills above Oslo and has been interpreted by many as the embodiment of modern-day anxiety and existential angst.