Auction Brings Highest Price Ever Paid for a Work of Art

May 3, 2012  •  Post A Comment

A pastel containing one of the most familiar images in the art world sold at auction this week for a record price, The Washington Post reports.

Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” sold for $119.9 million at Sotheby’s on Wednesday night. The price broke the previous record of $106.5 million set in May 2010 by Pablo Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” the story reports.

The report adds: “The 1895 pastel-on-board Munch work was the most-talked-about lot of the current New York auctions, which run through May 11 and may tally $1.5 billion. … The winner was a phone bidder who is a client of Charles Moffett, Sotheby’s vice chairman for Impressionist and modern art.”

The image seen in “The Scream” has become a part of popular culture, appearing on mugs and T-Shirts and inspiring scenes in the 1990 movie “Home Alone” and in the TV show “The Simpsons,” the story notes.

The piece reports: “The work, featuring a hairless androgynous creature with mouth agape and hands covering the ears, comes from the collection of Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father, Thomas, was a friend, neighbor and patron of the artist.

“Proceeds will go to establish a new museum in Hvitsten, Norway, where Munch and Thomas Olsen lived.”

The artwork is one of four versions of the image — two oils and two pastels — with the other three in museums in Norway.

The report notes: “Two versions have been stolen from museums in Oslo, one in 1994, another in 2004. Both were subsequently recovered.”

the-scream.jpg‘The Scream’

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