On Wednesday, Edvard Munch’s The Scream sold for a staggering $119.9m (£74m). It was one of only four versions of the piece in existence, which many regard as the best painting overall. It is also the only one to have the original frame that was hand painted by the artist and has a poem inscribed, detailing the inspiration behind the painting.
The 1895 painting was expected to fetch around $80m at Sotheby’s auction. Instead, an anonymous telephone bidder paid almost 50% more in what was described as a frantic and intense bidding battle that lasted only 12 minutes.
The painting was sold by the son of a friend and patron of Munch, Petter Olsen. The proceeds of the sale will fund a new museum, art centre and hotel in the town where Munch and Olsen’s father were neighbours, Hvitsten, Norway.
This is another addition to the art worlds mile high club, of piece’s that have sold for over $100m. The previous title holder was Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, that sold for $106.5m back in 2010. However, none come close to the whopping $250m paid for Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players, which was purchased by Quatar for a new art museum.
A Royal sum, for what is considered the ‘crown jewel’ of The Scream paintings. I wonder if Drake had this in mind when he said he wanted art money?