Edvard Munch's The Scream being auctioned at Sotheby's

Edvard Munch's "The Scream" being auctioned at Sotheby's

Edvard Munch - The Scream

Edvard Munch
The Scream, 1895
Sold for $119,922,500 / £73,921,284 / €91,033,826

Munch’s 'The Scream' sold for $120 million at Sotheby's



One of four versions of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece 'The Scream' -the only one still in private hands- sold for $119,9 million at Sotheby's New York on 2 May 2012, becoming the most expensive painting ever sold at auction.

May 3, 2012, source: Sotheby's / theartwolf.com

The sale of "The Scream" marked a new world record for any work of art ever sold at auction. A group of at least eight bidders jumped into the competition, and after more than 12 minutes, the lot was sold to Charles Moffett, bidding on behalf of an anonymous buyer.

According to Sotheby's, the version sold yesterday "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".

“Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity", said Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President of Sotheby's. "(It) is not only one of the seminal images from art history, but also one of the visual keys to the modern consciousness."

Other highlights

Pablo Picasso’s "Femme assise dans un fauteuil" sold for $29,202,500, marking the second-highest price in the sale (est. $20/30 million). Salvador Dalí's "Printemps nécrophilique" from 1936, which has not appeared on the market in nearly 15 years, achieved $16,322,500. Joan Miro’s "Tête humaine" (1931) sold for $14,866,500 and Brancusi’s "Prométhée" achieved $12,682,500.

The sale totaled $330,568,550 / £203,765,332 / €250,936,357, Sotheby’s highest-ever total for a sale of Impressionist & Modern Art, and the second-highest total for a Sotheby’s auction in any category.


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Edvard Munch - "The Scream" - one of the 50 masterworks of painting


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