Haute Art: “The Scream” by Edvard Munch Is A New Record for Sotheby’s

Edvard Munch is a Norwegian expressionist painter (1863-1944) well known for his works made in the 80’s. The Scream is one of the most iconic and recognizable images in art history. He painted several version of that painting and his favorite topics are life, love, death and fright.

The version that has been sold yesterday evening at Sotheby’s New York is one of four versions of the composition, and the only version still in private hands. It’s a pastel on board signed E. Munch and dated 1895 on the lower left. This work and the other three versions belong to the series entitled « Frieze of Life ». The first one is a tempera and crayon on board (1893) that belongs to the collection of the National Gallery in Norway. The second one is a pastel also painted in 1893 and owned by the Munch Museum in Oslo. The third one is the one Sotheby’s sold last night and that used to be a part of the Olsen collection. The last one is a tempera and oil on board made in 1910 and also owned by the Munch Museum.

In a few minutes, twelve to be exact, this work became the most expensive work of art in the world. The work was estimated 61 millions dollars and has been sold for 119.9 millions dollars, it’s a new record in an auction ! The last one was the « Nu au plateau de Sculpteur » painted by Picasso and sold for 106.5 millions at Christies two years ago. The sale has been made through Charlie Moffett who’s specialist at Sothebys and who often represents private Americans collectors. The Royal family of Qatar might be also the buyer…

No doubt that the impressionist and modern art market is doing well ! we’ll see what’s gonna happen next week during the contemporary art sales.

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Born and raised in Paris, Delphine De Causans decided to move to NY after graduating from the Sorbonne where she got a master degree in social sciences and history of art mention contemporary art. Once in New York she went to the Christies School and she got a certificate degree. She used to work as an intern during all her studies for an auction house, several galleries and art dealers in both Paris and New York. She’s now working on her first book which is dedicated to contemporary art in general