Thursday, May 3, 2012

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” Sold for a Record $119.9 Million at Sotheby's

"The Scream" poster outside Sotheby's
Edvard Munch’s famed 1895 painting called “The Scream” was auctioned for $120 million at Sotheby's last night, becoming the world’s most expensive artwork ever to sell at auction. The work, a pastel on board, is one of four versions created by Edvard Munch; the other three are part of collections in Norwegian museums. This version of "The Scream" is considered to be the most vibrant. It was sold by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman and shipping heir whose father was a friend, neighbor and patron of the artist. The unknown buyer bid over the telephone during the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening sale. The price surpassed the previous record, made two years ago at Christie’s in New York when Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust” brought $106.5 million.

Outside of Sotheby’s, demonstrators protesting the company’s longtime lockout of art handlers waved placards with the image of “The Scream” along with the motto, “Sotheby’s: Bad for Art” and "People Before Profit." The group is a mix of union members and Occupy Wall Street protesters. 

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