The Scream Expected to Fetch $80M at Auction
Edvard Munch work to be sold by Sotheby's
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2012 1:40 PM CST
This photo provided by Sotheby's shows "The Scream" by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.   (AP Photo/Sotheby's)

(Newser) – One of four versions of Edvard Munch's iconic The Scream is expected to sell for more than $80 million at auction May 2 in New York. The estimate is the highest pre-sale value ever placed on a work of art by auction house Sotheby's, Reuters notes. This 1895 pastel-on-board is the only privately owned version of the work, belonging to a Norwegian businessman whose father was Munch's friend and patron; the other three are in the collections of Norwegian museums. Pre-auction exhibitions will be held in London and New York.

Sotheby's calls this version the "most colorful and vibrant" of the four and notes that it also includes an inscription from Munch on its frame: "My Friends walked on-I remained behind/shivering with Anxiety-I felt the great Scream in Nature." The owner, whose father saved 74 of Munch's works from destruction when they were removed from German collections during the Nazi regime, says that proceeds will help to build a museum, art center, and hotel at his Norwegian farm.