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The $80 million “Scream”

February 21, 2012
Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” (1895) Pastel on board in the artist’s original frame. Estimated to sell for $80 million at Sotheby’s New York sale of Impressionist and Modern Paintings.

The lead in to the May New York sales of impressionist and modern art kicked into high gear with the announcement by Sotheby’s of their forthcoming sale of one of four versions of Edvard Munch’s iconic “The Scream.”  Bloomberg reports the work is estimated to sell for about $80 million. The picture, created in 1895, has been in the same family for more than 70 years:

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.

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