Edvard Munch Scream Goes Under Hammer Tonight

Edvard Munch, the celebrated Norwegian Post-Impressionist, painted four versions of his now iconic ‘The Scream.’  This evening one will be auctioned by Sotheby’s and is expected to become one of the most expensive pieces of art sold at auction.

Since being painted in 1895, ‘The Scream’ has had an interesting history.  Three of the four versions reside in Oslo, one in the National Museum and two in the Munch Museum, this piece is the only remaining in a private collection.  The seller is a Norwegian business man named Petter Olsen who inherited the work from his father, a friend of Munch.  The works themselves are not particularly sturdy, being done in pastel on board, but the image of a man distressed by the state of modern life has become one of the most recognizable pieces of art.

This highly anticipated auction has received significant media attention, and current estimates say the work could receive bids over $80 million, placing among the most expensive artworks in history.  To date only eight works have sold over $80 million at auction with two even surpassing $100 million.  Tonight at 7pm New York time (midnight in London), the world will wait with anticipation to see if Munch will join Picasso and Giacometti in the super-selling elite of the art world.

Words: Emily Sack © 2012 ArtLyst

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