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Edvard Munch's The Scream set to fetch £50m at auction

Category: Entertainment

Published: 2nd May 2012 17:18:42

Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream is tipped to fetch more than $80 million (£50m) when it goes up for auction in New York later.

Its depiction of a man screaming beneath a vivid sunset is one of the world's most recognisable images.

The 1895 pastel, one of four versions created by Munch, is owned by a man whose father knew the expressionist.

The record price for a painting is the $106.5m (£65.7m) paid for Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust in 2010.

The other three versions of The Scream are all owned by Norwegian museums. But Sotheby's say the example they are handling is the most colourful.

It is also the only one to include a poem by Munch on the frame, which talks of his inspiration behind the series of works.

I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature”

It reads: "I was walking along a path with two friends - the sun was setting - suddenly the sky turned blood red - I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence - there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city.

"My friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety - and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature."

The painting is being sold by businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was friendly with the Norwegian artist.

He plans to donate the proceeds towards the building of a museum and art gallery in the town of Hvitsten, where Munch and his father both lived.

Earlier this year, Olssen spoke of his decision to sell The Scream.

"I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time," he said.

"Now, however, I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work."

Two of the other versions of The Scream were stolen, in 1994 and 2004 respectively. Both were later recovered.

The only two other works to top the $100 million mark are Picasso's Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice), which sold for $104.1m in 2004, and Alberto Giacometti's Walking Man I, which went for $104.3m in 2010.

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BBC News, 2012. Edvard Munch's The Scream set to fetch £50m at auction [Online] (Updated 2nd May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1426120/Edvard-Munchs-The-Scream-set-to-fetch-50m-at-auction [Accessed 2nd Sep 2014]

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