Edvard Munch’s The Scream on display at Sotheby’s in London

12:05 14 April 2012

Sotheby

Sotheby's staff members hang The Scream, by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch

The only version of Edvard Munch’s masterpiece The Scream still to be in private hands has gone on show in London for the first time.

The pastel work featuring a haunted figure in front of a red backdrop is on display at Sotheby’s for a week before being sold at auction in New York on May 2, where it is expected to fetch £50.4 million or more.

The Scream in London is one of four versions created by Munch and was created in 1885.

It is the only version with a frame hand-painted by Munch which includes a poem explaining his inspiration for the piece.

It is also the only version in which one of the two figures in the background turns to look outward onto the cityscape.

The work is privately owned by Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen whose father was a friend and patron of the artist.

The Munch Museum in Oslo holds two versions of The Scream and the third is displayed at The National Gallery of Norway.

Philip Hook, senior director at Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art department, said: “This is the only one of the series of four pictures that has this poem by Munch inscribed on the front and it explains a little bit about how the painting came to be executed.

“It tells us that the scream people might have thought was coming from the figure’s mouth is not actually him screaming, it’s the scream of nature he is hearing through his ears. It’s such a powerful image of anxiety and man’s alienation.

“We are confident that we will be able to show this icon to as many people as possible. This is the first time this picture has ever been on view in the United Kingdom and it hasn’t been on show anywhere since 1979 so it’s a very special thing for Sotheby’s to be able to show people.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 18:02
The chair appears to move of its own accord - or perhaps there is a ghostly explanation?

The spooky goings on apparently took place just hours after a psychic medium took to the stage in Romford. Coincidence? Almost certainly...

Read more
Yesterday, 14:28
People enjoy the Royal Victoria beach as temperatures reaches 28C in London.

This weekend saw London’s biggest manmade beach open at the Royal Victoria Dock in Canning Town.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:50
Nightcapp was born when Graham's friends got fed up with him waking them up late at night for recommendations for bars [Image courtesy of Nightcapp]

It’s surprising how much it happens in this global city: last orders comes before you’re ready for it, and you’re left with the choice of finding a 24-hour off-license or getting the nightbus whilst disconcertingly sober.

Read more

Top Stories

Promotions

Renault-Zoe

The Renault ZOE follows on from the introduction of the electric Fluence ZE and Twizy, but unlike the former, the Zoe was designed from the ground up as an electric vehicle.

When no simple way to find Real Ale was at hand, 4 Ale enthusiasts got together to allow anyone with a smart phone to find Real Ale no matter where they happened to be, this was the birth of the Perfect Pint app.

London24 have partnered up with The Week magazine to offer you a complimentary issue – delivered free to your door.

Quizzes

The prize is glory (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

It used to be Manhattan that was famous for its majestic skyline, but now our fair city is catching up. Do you know your Shard from your Heron Tower?

Read more
Test your London musical knowledge with our album quiz (Images via Getty)

Does your music knowledge stretch from The Rolling Stones to Rudimental, Spandau Ballet to Siouxsie and the Banshees? If so then test it out with our London bands quiz:

Read more
How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more