Edvard Munch's hauntingly iconic painting has sold for a spine-curdling US$120 million at the Sotheby's auction in New York last night. This makes the painting one of the highest ever paid work of art, and the most expensive painting to be sold at an open auction.
Bidding started at $50 million, with the auctioneer's gavel coming down after just twelve minutes of bidding, with the painting going to an anonymous telephone bidder.
The 1895 painting, one of only four versions of the work in existence, is one of the few artworks to have caught the imagination of both the art community and pop culture at large.
As for the perhaps priceless value of the work, Simon Shaw, head of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art in New York, had this to say: "Instantly recognisable, this is one of the very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global icon. The Scream arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived."
The Scream now joins the rarefied ranks of artworks that have sold for more than a million bucks, such as Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust, which sold in 2010 for $106.5 million.
Via [The Guardian]