Sotheby’s took around 12 minutes to auction the piece off for close to $120 Million to someone on the phone. Who? Rumors were circulating that it was financier Leonard Blavatnik, the Microsoft tycoon Paul Allen or members of the Qatari royal family. It was not, as was hoped, a public museum.
Looks like this image will disappear into the mystery area of private collecting, not to be seen again for some time.
Sotheby’s is honoured to announce that Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream will lead its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in New York on 2 May 2012. The iconic work is one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the Mona Lisa.
The present version of The Scream dates from 1895, and is one of four versions of the composition, and the only version still in private hands. It will be on view in London for the first time ever, with the exhibition at Sotheby’s opening on 13 April. In New York, and also for the first time ever, it will be on exhibition at Sotheby’s in advance of the sale beginning 27 April. The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbour and patron of Munch.
The estimate of value is $80 Million bucks for this pastel version of Munch’s famous piece. The question is, will this remain in private hands or be purchased by a major museum, making it accessible to the public?
Of the four versions of the work, the present Scream is distinguished in several remarkable ways: it is the most colorful and vibrant of the four; the only version whose original frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem detailing the work’s inspiration; and the only version in which one of the two figures in the background turns to look outward onto the cityscape. This version has never before been on public view in either the UK or US, except briefly in the National Gallery in Washington D.C. decades ago.
I just checked my bank account and I can’t afford to bid on it. Can you?