One of the world’s recognizable images, Edvard Munch's 1895 “The Scream” sold $119.9 million by Sotheby's on Wednesday night, setting a record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction.
The result smashed the top spot was previously held by Picasso's 1932 “Nude, Green, Leave and Bust”, which is a painting of his much-younger lover Marie-Therese Walter that sold at Christie’s in 2010 for $106.5 million.
The 1895 pastel-on-board Munch work was the most-talked- about lot of the New York auctions at the moment, which run through May 11 and may tally $1.5 billion.
After auctioneer Tobias Meyer began the bidding, it went for about 12 minutes and almost exclusively from the phones. The winner was a phone bidder who is a client of Charles Moffett, Sotheby’s vice chairman for Impressionist and modern art.