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03/12 Sunday 09:56AM

the scream

image . www.nydailynews.com .
text . Pauline Chan .

The bidding started at 40 million dollars and within 12 minutes, the price soared and stopped. At 119.9 million US dollars, 'The Scream' was sold, to an anonymous telephone bidder at the Sotheby's in New York. It is now the most expensive piece of artwork ever sold at an auction.

"The Scream' by Edvard Munch is the one of the most sought-after paintings in the world and is as iconic as the Mona Lisa. There are four versions of it but this one is probably the most coveted because of the poem about the work on the frame, written in the artist's own hand. It reads: “I was walking along the road with two Friends / the Sun was setting – The Sky turned a bloody red / And I felt a whiff of Melancholy – I stood / Still, deathly tired – over the blue-black / Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire / My Friends walked on – I remained behind / – shivering with Anxiety – I felt the great Scream in Nature – EM.” This version was the only one remaining in private hands, the other three are in museums.  Two of them were stolen while on display but have since been recovered. This masterpiece, often interpreted as representing 'the universal anxiety of modern man', is the most famous of all Munch's work.

image .
AFP Photo / Mario Tama

Edvard Munch was a painter, lithographer, etcher, and wood engraver whose work greatly influenced early 20th century German expressionism. Born in 1863 in Loten, Norway, Munch had a tumultuous life. Childhood illness, ghosts stories, alcoholism, constant parental disappointment, disapproving society and in later years, depression, influenced his paintings.  He tapped the depths of his feelings of fear and anxiety and expressed them in his paintings like in "The Sick Child", "The Scream", "Vampire" and "The Ashes".

"The Ashes"
                                                                          "The Sick Child"

Edvard Munch found favour with German society when he live and worked in Germany for many years and gained influential patrons who turned him into a success despite antagonism from strong critics who found his work strange and morbid. In October 2006, the colour woodcut "Two People. The Lonely" set a new record for his prints when it was sold for USD1.27 million at an auction in Oslo. It also set a record for the highest price paid in an auction in Norway. On 3rd November 2008, the painting "Vampire" set another new record when it was sold for USD38.16 million at Sotheby's New York. 

"The Vampire"                                                                                        "Two People. The Lonely"

   Munch self-portrait                                                                          

images . www.edvard-munch.com .

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