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A Scream broke a record today

May 2, On This Day

Munch on that!



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Just under a decade ago, on May 2, 2012, a pastel version of The Scream, by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, sold for $120 million in New York City\’s Sotheby\’s Impressionist and Modern Art auction, setting a new world record for a work of art sold at auction.

Munch had created four versions of his iconic masterpiece, two in paint and two in pastels. The first painted version was the first exhibited (1893) and is in collection of the National Gallery of Norway in Oslo (it that has that much-reported barely visible pencil inscription “Kan kun være malet af en gal Mand!” (“Could only have been painted by a madman!”) The second painted version dates from 1910 (the last of this lot), and is at the Munch Museum, also in Oslo. At this same venue, one also finds a pastel version from 1893, which may have been a preliminary study for the artist. The final of the quartet and the second pastel version (1895) is what got sold in NYC.

Munch also created a lithograph stone of the composition in 1895, from which several prints produced by him survive.

The Scream artworks have been at the brunt of several theft attempts. The iconic pose is also highly replicated in pop culture.

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