Auction history was made at Sotheby’s 2 May when Edvard Munch’s iconic masterpiece The Scream sold for$119,922,500 / £73,921,284 / €91,033,826 in New York, marking a new world record for any work of art at auction*. A group of at least eight bidders jumped into the competition, but it was a prolonged battle between two highly determined phone bidders that carried the final selling price to its historic level, after more than 12 minutes.
The Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale totaled a remarkable $330,568,550 / £203,765,332 / €250,936,357, Sotheby’s highest-ever total for a sale of Impressionist & Modern Art worldwide**, and the second-highest total for a Sotheby’s auction in any category***.
* The previous record for a work of art at auction was held by Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust, which sold at Christie’s New York in May 2010 for
** Sotheby’s previous record for a sale of Impressionist & Modern Art was $286,165,000, achieved in New York on 17 May 1990
*** Sotheby’s highest-ever auction total was achieved by the Contemporary Art Evening Auction in New York on 14 May 2008, which totaled $362,037,000