For this weekend only there is a rare opportunity for Londoners to view The Scream at Sotheby’s Auction House on Bond Street. The masterpiece is expected to fetch up to $80m (£50m) when it goes on auction in New York next month, the highest ever pre-sale estimate on a work of art.
Today I was fortunate enough to view once of the most iconic artworks in the world. With more security than at an airport, the artwork has never been on public view in Britain before now and is a version which probably has the most vivid use of colour and is utterly spellbinding.
The work is one of four versions from 1890s and is one of the most famous artworks in the world. This particular version is one of two pastel versions, the others being painted and has an inscription by Munch on the frame reading: ‘My friends walked on – I remained behind/shivering with Anxiety – I felt the great Scream in Nature ‘. The other three versions of the painting are in museums in Norway and this version is the only one still in private hands. It is currently owned by Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman who’s father was a friend of the artist. The proceeds from the sale will go towards the founding of a museum in Hvitsten, Norway, to be opened next year in connection with the Munch 150th anniversary.
The Scream is on display all weekend at London’s Sotheby’s and will go on auction in New York on 2 May