The only privately owned version of Edvard Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, will be heading to the auction block on May 2nd in New York. Sotheby’s expects the painting to fetch more than $80 million, which according to Reuters, is the highest pre-sale estimate ever place on a work of art.
Reuters reports that The Scream is currently owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen. Sotheby’s said that Olsen’s father Thomas was a friend, neighbor, and patron of the famous painter.
Simon Shaw, senior vice president and head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York said that Munch’s The Scream is the most recognizable painting in the world and Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is the only other painting to challenge its fame. Shaw said:
“Given how rarely true icons come to the market it is difficult to predict The Scream’s value. The recent success of masterpieces at Sotheby’s suggests that the price could exceed $80 million.”
Olsen’s The Scream is one of four versions of Munch’s painting. The other three are currently in museums in Norway.
The painting, which was created in 1895, is still relevant today. Shaw told Reuters that The Scream is the perfect embodiment of modern-day anxiety and existential angst.
The version of the painting that will go up for auction includes a hand painted inscription on the frame. Munch wrote: “My Friends walked on-I remained behind/shivering with Anxiety-I felt the great Scream in Nature.”
Do you think Edvard Munch’s The Scream will fetch more than $80 million?