Enough to Make You Scream

Did you see that Edvard Munch’s The Scream has sold this week for the highest price ever for a painting. It fetched almost 120 million dollars at auction. I’m sure you know the painting. It’s the guy holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky. He’s got a bit of that Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone look about him.

How do you put a value like that on a painting? Were the artist’s skills really that good or is it more about wanting to own a famous piece of history?

The 1895 artwork – a modern symbol of human anxiety – was sold at Sotheby’s. The price ($US119,922,500) includes the buyer’s premium.

The image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky is one of four versions by the Norwegian expressionist painter. The auctioned piece at Sotheby’s is the only one left in private hands.

The previous record for an artwork sold at auction was $106.5 million for Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust, sold by Christie’s in 2010.
The Australian

Almost 120 million. That’s a lot of money. The artist says that the inspiration came from a walk with friends at sunset when the sky changed to blood red. He reckons he sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.

Of course they say that art is open to interpretation so I’m wondering what you reckon the guy in the painting is screaming about. Maybe he’s heard that Nickelback is releasing another album. It could be that he’s just opened the bill for his teenager’s mobile phone. Or maybe he’s shocked at a painting selling for almost 120 million dollars.

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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1 Comment

  • Reckon it´s the last one, really!
    Funny enough, the picture was in today´s episode of “The Simpsons” broadcast over here!
    I really can´t understand how someone could pay that price, you could do some good with it, too. Inappropriate?

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