The Scream By Edward Munch Sold $119.9 Million

05/03/2021 03:23 PM ET

The Sotheby’s auction in New York City set a new record for the latest price for a piece of artwork ever sold when Edward Munch’s “The Scream” went for $119.9 million to an unidentified buyer.

The previous record was held by Picasso’s ‘Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust’ painting that was sold at a Christie’s auction in 2010 for $106.5 million.

Drawn in 1895, ‘The Scream’ is the artist’s most famous work and one of the most recognizable works in all art. It also stands for a symbol of human anxiety. The copy sold in the auction was one of four original’s done by the artist, with this version being done as a drawing described as a crayon or pastel drawing, not a painting, on board. Two of the four are located at the Munch Museum in Oslo. Norway, one a pastel the other a painting. The original of the four completed in 1893 is held at the National Gallery of Norway which is also a painting.

Edward once described his own personal anguish behind the work by saying, “for several years I was almost mad… You know my picture, ‘The Scream?’ I was stretched to the limit”

The auction lasted for 12 minutes with a starting bid of $40 million. The eventual winner was not present in person and submitted bids by phone during the auction, according to Sotheby’s.


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