The Scream, 1895,
February 21, 2012, source: Sotheby's / theartwolf.com
"The Scream" is one of the most important works of art to come to the market in the last 30 years. According to Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President of Sotheby's, the work "could exceed $80 million". Considering the growing power of the petrodollars and its impact on the art market (a Cézanne was sold last year to Qatar for a stunning $250 million), the estimation seems even quite conservative.
“Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity", said Mr. Shaw, adding that "The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived".
"I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work", said Petter Olsen, the consignor of The Scream. The painting has been in the collection of the Olsen family for over 70 years.
According to Sotheby's, the present version "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".