• Norway's news in English
 

Edvard Munch's 'Scream' to go under the hammer

Published: 21 Feb 2012 13:57 GMT+01:00
Updated: 21 Feb 2012 17:29 GMT+01:00

Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father was a friend and patron of "Scream" painter Edvard Munch, owns the work, which will go on the block in New York on May 2nd, headlining the Impressionist and Modern Art sales.

Sotheby's described "The Scream" as "one of the most instantly recognizable images in both art history and popular culture, perhaps second only to the 'Mona Lisa.'"

There are four versions of the painting, which features a man screaming and clutching his head against a wavy, brightly-coloured landscape, but this is the only one in private hands.

The influence of the disturbing picture, described by Munch as recording a moment of paralyzing anxiety during a walk with friends in the hills above Oslo, has few parallels.

Andy Warhol and "The Simpsons" reference the painting and it has been treated in countless books, films and exhibitions.

On two occasions, other versions of the painting have been stolen from museums, although both were recovered. Copies have adorned everything from student dorms to tea mugs and the work is arguably one of the few known equally to art experts and the general public alike.

Dating from 1895, "The Scream" offered by Sotheby's was done in pastel and is the only one in which one of the two figures in the background turns to look outward. The work will be exhibited at Sotheby's in London on April 13th and in New York starting April 27th ahead of the sale.

Simon Shaw, head of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art department in New York, called "The Scream" the "defining image of modernity."

"Instantly recognizable, this is one of very few images which transcends art history and reaches a global consciousness. 'The Scream' arguably embodies even greater power today than when it was conceived," he said in a statement.

Olsen said in a statement that he wants proceeds from the sale to go toward establishment of a new museum and hotel on his farm in Hvitsten, Norway.

Munch died in his native Norway in January 1944 at the age of 80. In a poem the artist inscribed on the frame of the version coming up for sale, Munch wrote of feeling "deathly tired" and while letting his friends walk on, "I remained behind/ shivering with Anxiety -- I felt the great Scream in Nature."

The two thefts only added to "The Scream's" intensely high profile. In 1994, at the start of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, thieves took the primary version from the National Gallery in Oslo. It was returned unharmed later that year.

A decade later, masked gunmen stole the 1910 version from the Munch Museum in Oslo, along with another of his works. Both were recovered two years later.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Is Brexit a good idea? Lessons from Norway
Saipem 7000, an offshore oil platform installation vessel, moored off the west coast of Norway in 2010. Photo: L.C. Nøttaasen

Is Brexit a good idea? Lessons from Norway

Norway twice voted not to join the European Union, and British eurosceptics often use the country as a shining example. But a new study says membership would boost the Norwegian economy. READ  

Norway to slash subsidies for fur farmers
A mink on a Norway fur farm. Photo: Norwegian Fur Breeders' Association

Norway to slash subsidies for fur farmers

Norwegian fur farmers have denounced a government proposal to slash financial support to the controversial industry, warning that it could lead to farm closures in vulnerable rural areas. READ  

Norway named one of top 25 places to invest
August Baumann, the head of Sweden's Netcom after

Norway named one of top 25 places to invest

Norway has joined AT Kearney’s list of the 25 best countries to invest in for the first time since it was launched back in 1998, with the management consultancy praising the country’s “strong natural resource base” and “highly educated workforce”. READ  

Black metal murder to be Ridley Scott film
Øystein ‘Euronymous’ Aarseth (right) with his bandmate Per "Dead" Ohlin. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Black metal murder to be Ridley Scott film

The spate of black metal church burnings which ended in a murder, shocking Norway in the early nineties, is being made into a Hollywood feature film by Bladerunner-director Ridley Scott’s production company. READ  

Norway best place in world for mums: report
Mother and Son. Photo: Chris Parfitt/Flickr

Norway best place in world for mums: report

Norway ranks as the world's best place to be a mother, well ahead of the United States which dropped to the 33rd spot in the annual scorecard released by Save the Children on Monday. READ  

Norway oil fund slashes coal holdings by 40%
A coal mining operation run by Peabody Energy, one of the world's few pure-play coal miners. Photo: Peabody Energy

Norway oil fund slashes coal holdings by 40%

Norway’s $900 billion oil fund has slashed its holdings of pure-play coal mining companies by two fifths since the start of the year, apparently responding to pressure to wield its influence to reduce carbon emissions. READ  

Norway MP slammed for 'sea adventure' T-shirt

Norway MP slammed for 'sea adventure' T-shirt

One of Norway’s most outspoken anti-immigrant politicians has sparked a Twitter storm after he wore a T-shirt with words “Good Journey” and “Sea Adventure” to a party vote on the refugee crisis. READ  

Progress to block 10,000 refugee plan: Jensen
Progress party leader and finance minister Siv Jensen on the stage on Sunday. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

Progress to block 10,000 refugee plan: Jensen

The leader of Norway’s populist Progress party has pledged to block plans for Norway to take up to 10,000 refugees from Syria over the next two years, arguing that it is more efficient to find homes for them in neighbouring countries. READ  

Norway is Europe's 'herpes hotspot'

Norway is Europe's 'herpes hotspot'

Norway is Europe’s 'herpes hotspot’, with the country’s inhabitants making more Google searches on the uncomfortable sexually transmitted disease (STD) than those of any other country in the continent. READ  

Norway's extreme surfers brave Lofoten
Lofoten's Unstad beach. Photo: Spesialsnorre/Flickr

Norway's extreme surfers brave Lofoten

The water is icy cold and it's windy, but the intrepid group dives in: far from California's sunny beaches, die-hard surfers flock to Norway's idyllic Lofoten Islands to catch the Arctic's cool waves. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
National
Muslims form 'ring of peace' at synagogue
Business & Money
Schumacher's Norway retreat sold for $3m
National
As it happened: Denmark rocked by terror attack
National
King Harald visits Antarctic namesake
Culture
Norwegians streak the streets of Berlin
Culture
Norway couple find love on word game app
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Business & Money
FATCA: 'The age of financial privacy is over'
International
Norwegian chef wins world's top food prize
Sport
Real Madrid sign Norway prodigy Ødegaard
Politics
Solberg: The fight for freedom isn't won
National
Gaza doc named Norway's person of year
National
Norway extends Russian military freeze
National
Why has The Local got a new logo?
National
Kjell Inge Røkke tops Norway's Rich List
International
Surprise! Norway priciest for home comforts
National
Norway terror attacks to become TV drama
International
Malala: Youngest ever Nobel Peace Laureate
National
Norway celebrates 25 years of Sami politics
Business & Money
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
International
Norway best country for older people
National
Muslim centre wanted on site of Munch Museum
International
Norway to send military staff in fight against IS
National
Father warns Breivik 'more extreme than ever'
National
Four-year-old Norway girl sleepwalks 4km
Travel
Cruise line offers Northern Lights promise
National
10-tonne shark found dead off Norway coast
International
'If Snowden wins Nobel Prize, arrest him!': MP
Culture
VIDEO: Swim ace does 'Pool Rubik's Challenge'
National
Norwegian man in 7,000 litre 'Ice Truck Challenge'
Society
Norwegian brewery pulls 'fart-smelling' beer
Sport
Ødegaard: Norway's youngest player ever
National
Miracle cat survives 20 gunshots in Norway
National
Second death within hours at Chess Olympics
National
Norway and Sweden mark 200 years of peace
Culture
Interview: Helene Meldahl, selfie artist
Society
Now serving ... Norway's smallest bar
Travel
Floating Northern Lights hotel planned in Norway
National
Circus camel escapes again
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
Society
Brit's charity tractor trek heads for Norway
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,234
jobs available
?>