May 3, 2012

The Scream: Follow Up

Yesterday, I shared that one version of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" would be up for auction at Sotheby's, and that the final bid was estimated to be around $80 million.  

Well, the winning bidder, who has chosen to remain anonymous, ended up shelling out almost $120 million for the infamous work of art ($119,922,500.00, to be exact).  Bidding started at $40 million, and the sale broke the record for the final bid on any work of art, ever.  The second highest bid was a mere $106.5 million for Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust" sold in 2010 at a Christie's auction.  

The other three versions of "The Scream" are in Norwegian museums.  This particular version is the most colorful of the four, and it is the only one that includes Munch's poem detailing the inspiration behind the artwork.  From an article detailing the auction:
Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of the artist, said he sold the piece through Sotheby's because he felt "the moment has come to offer the rest of the world the chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work." 
"I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time," Olsen said.  
Proceeds from the sale will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.  
The director of the National Museum in Oslo, Audun Eckhoff, says Norwegian authorities approved the Munch sale since the other versions of the composition are in Norwegian museums. One version is owned by the National Museum and two others by the Munch Museum, also in Oslo.

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