Munch's The Scream Fetches Record $120M Sotheby's sale is biggest ever for a painting at auction By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted May 2, 2012 7:26 PM CDT 10 comments Comments This undated file photo provided by Sotheby's shows "The Scream," by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. (AP Photo/Sotheby's, File) (Newser) – The experts thought Edvard Munch's The Scream would bring in a princely sum, but not this much: $119.9 million. That's the most ever paid for a painting at auction, reports the New York Times. (The previous record was $106.5 million for a Picasso, notes AP.) No word yet on who bought the 1895 painting at Sotheby's. Five bidders were in contention, and the winning bid came via the telephone.