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$80 Million. “For the rest of my life.”

April 27, 2012

On May 2nd, Edvard Munch’s The Scream will go up for auction at Sothebys, according to the Wall Street Journal. The pastel is expected to go for over $80 million!! This is one of four versions of this work created by Munch (two paintings and two pastels) and the first one to be sold publicly.

“Top clients have visited the picture privately at Sotheby’s in New York, sitting in high-backed chairs set a short distance from the work inside a locked room. ‘One of the world’s great collectors said, ‘I could sell all my pictures, put this on my wall, put my chair here with a cup of coffee and stare at it for the rest of my life and be happy’.” (see WSJ article). It is definitely a dramatic, intriguing, even captivating painting, but I don’t know about the rest of my life…or even an hour.

What is it, exactly, about this painting that attracts so much ardor among enthusiasts?


Bonus art  facts:

  • The Scream version on my banner is the 1893 crayon on cardboard
  • The 1893 painting version has a scribble on the sky that reads, in Norwegian, “Could only have been painted by a madman” (the Art History blog)
  • The Scream has also been called, “the face that launched 1,000 therapists”
  • Leonardo da Vinci spent 12 years painting the Mona Lisa’s lips.
  • Left-handed painter, Michelangelo, painted his famous David and Goliath with David holding his sling in his left hand.
  • Vincent Van Gogh committed suicide while painting Wheatfield under Clouded Sky.
  • Leonardo da Vinci, wrote all of his personal notes from right to left, forcing those who read them to use a mirror.
  • Picasso could draw before he could walk


One of those facts is false.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Cat permalink
    April 27, 2012 4:56 pm

    Although I was bummed with the “one of these is false” statement, I guessed the false fact pretty quickly. I agree that it’s an interesting painting, but $80million? a lifetime of staring at it? really? Not. Sadly, some people have too much time on their hands, or are much too self-absorbed.

  2. April 28, 2012 8:45 am

    haha Cat, sorry I had to make things interesting (good job guessing which one!). Sometimes it makes you wonder if the art community can sometimes be a wee bit pretentious…

  3. May 3, 2012 8:19 pm

    Wait, which one is false?


  1. The Scream…scarily underestimated. « Only Hitler Goes to Hell

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