Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' Goes for $119M: Do You Like the Painting?

News 2012/05/03 13:00:00
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You might not know Edvard Munch by name, but there's a good chance you've seen his masterpiece, "The Scream," somewhere before. The 1890s oil-and-pastel is one of the most iconic paintings in the art world, right up there with Picasso's "Guernica", Van Gogh's "Starry Night," and da Vinci's "Mona Lisa." After sitting in the hands of Norwegian billionaire Petter Olsen for his entire life, the 1895 version of the painting sold to an unknown buyer for a record-breaking $119.9 million at an auction.

We say the 1895 "version" because, believe it or not, it isn't the only original. Olsen's 1895 pastel-only version is one of four. There were two done in oil, one in pastel (Olsen's), and one in egg tempera. They were all completed between the years 1893 and 1910. According to The Daily Mail, Olsen's father was a friend and patron of Munch's, and presumably bought the original from the painter himself.

Of the pastel, Olsen said, "I have lived with this work all of my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time. Now however, I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work." He put it up for auction with Sotheby's in New York, and started the bidding at $40 million. The final price beat Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," which sold for $106.5 million in 2010, but Van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" would still hold the record if adjusted for inflation.

Of course, art is always somewhat subjective -- in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Most of us couldn't imagine being able to afford an art classic like "The Scream" but... Do you even like it? Let us know! And while you're at it, throw up some pictures of your favorite pieces of art. We'd love to see them!

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