POSTED: 05:23 a.m. HST, Feb 21, 2012
LAST UPDATED: 05:26 a.m. HST, Feb 21, 2012
NEW YORK >> One of four versions of Edvard Munch's masterpiece "The Scream" will be sold this spring in New York, Sotheby's auction house announced Tuesday.
Sotheby's estimates that the work, which has become a modern icon of human anxiety, will sell for $80 million or more.
The 1895 drawing of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is being sold by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of Munch's. It is the only version of "The Scream" still in private hands.
"I have lived with this work all my life, and its power and energy have only increased with time," Olsen said. "Now, however, I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work, which is the only version of 'The Scream' not in the collection of a Norwegian museum."
The work will lead Sotheby's Impressionist and modern sale on May 2. Olsen said proceeds will go toward the establishment of a new museum, art center and hotel in Hvitsten, Norway, where Olsen's father and Munch were neighbors.
Sotheby's said in a news release that this pastel-on-board version of "The Scream" is the most colorful and vibrant of the four and the only version whose frame was hand-painted by the artist to include his poem detailing the work's inspiration.
In the poem, Munch described himself "shivering with anxiety" and said he felt "the great scream in nature."
The work will be on view at Sotheby's in London starting April 13 and then in New York starting April 27.