Munch’s ‘The Scream’ fetches$119.9 million at Sotheby's

Art Auction The Scream

FILE - This undated file photo provided by Sotheby's shows "The Scream," by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch which will be auctioned at Sotheby's in Ne

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.