Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream was sold for a world-recording breaking £19.9 million at Sotheby's auction last night, on May 5, 2012.
The 1895 painting was estimated to sell for $80 - $200 million, it was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder, and it surpassed Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, which sold for $106.5 million in 2010, to be the highest selling artwork at auction.
Cezanne's The Card Player is the highest selling work of all time, having been sold at a private sale in Qatar for $250 million in 2011.
The masterpiece, one of four versions of The Scream created by Munch, had been owned by a Norwegian family since the 1930s, who knew Munch personally, and it was put on the market by the family member Petter Olsen.
This version is the only one of the four to be owned privately with the other three versions of The Scream currently in museums; two versions have been stolen while on display but have since been recovered.
This privately owned version is said to be the most desirable as it contains a poem on the frame, written by the artist that 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 MelancholyI Stood, Still, deathly tired over the blue black
Fjord and City hung Blood and Tonges of Fire
My Friends walked onI remained behind
Shivering with Anxiety
I felt the great Scream in Nature