By Alex Jones
Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’ has become the most expensive artwork sold at auction after it was bought for an eye-watering $119.9m (£74m) by an unnamed telephone bidder at Sotheby’s in New York.
Bidding lasted just 12 minutes as seven wealthy collectors competed for the Norweigian’s iconic work.
Created in 1895, the pastel is one of four by Munch, but the only one still privately owned. It is the most sort after of the four ‘Screams’ as Munch wrote a poem on the frame.
The poem reads: “I was walking along a path with two friends – the sun was setting – suddenly the sky turned blood red – I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence – there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city.
“My friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety – and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”
It is one of few artistic images that has seamlessly crossed over from the world of high art to popular culture.
The previous record for a piece of art sold at auction belonged to Picasso’s ‘Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust’ which fetched $106.5m in 2010.