Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" Sells for $120 Million

Edvard Munch
The Scream
23.5" x 32" pastel on board 1895 

This pastel, one of four versions of Edvard Munch's The Scream, sold tonight at Sotheby's for a new world record for any work of art at auction - $119.9 million.

In blood red paint on the front of the original frame that holds this pastel version of The Scream, Munch wrote the words to his poem that inspired the image:

I was walking along the road with two friends. The Sun was setting — 
The Sky turned a bloody red
And I felt a whiff of Melancholy — I stood 
Still, deathly tired — over the blue-black
Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire 
My Friends walked on — I remained behind
— shivering with Anxiety. I felt the great Scream in Nature.

Carol Vogel in the New York Times writes: "Munch made four versions of The Scream, three of which are now in Norwegian museums; the one that sold on Wednesday, a pastel on board from 1895, was the only one still in private hands. It was sold by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman and shipping heir whose father was a friend, neighbor and patron of the artist."

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