Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact

    The version of The Scream to be sold at Sotheby's. (Click on image to enlarge).

    Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream  –  one of the most instantly recognizable images of art history and popular culture – will lead Sotheby’s  Impressionist and Modern art evening sale in New York on May 2.  Dating from 1895 it is one of four versions of the composition and the only one still in private hands. The work is owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father Thomas was a friend, neighbor and patron of Munch.

    “Munch’s The Scream is the defining image of modernity, and it is an immense privilege for Sotheby’s to be entrusted with one of the most important works of art in private hands” commented Simon Shaw, Senior Vice President and Head of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art department in New York. “Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived. At a time of great critical interest in the artist, and with the 150th anniversary of his birth in 2013, this spring is a particularly compelling time for The Scream to appear on the market. For collectors and institutions, the opportunity to acquire such a singularly-influential masterpiece is unprecedented in recent times.”

    It is difficult to estimate the value of the work, but Sotheby’s suggest a figure of in and around $80 million dollars.  The cultural resonance of the piece has been underscored by two high profile thefts. In 1994 two thieves stole the version at the National Gallery of Norway. It was recovered unharmed in a sting operation later that year. A decade later masked gunmen stole another version from the Munch museum in Oslo with another Munch work.  Both were recovered two years later.

    Comments are closed.