It’s one of the world’s most iconic pieces of art, and it just broke all kinds of records. Now, Edvard Munch’s 1895 masterpiece, The Scream, is headed to New York’s Museum of Modern Art, thanks to a generous loan from the anonymous collector who shelled out nearly $120 million for the pastel on board work.
But despite its sky-high price, the work isn’t exactly a one-of-a-kind. This 1895 version is often considered the most colorful, but the image is actually one the Norwegian artists worked with multiple times (like many of his themes). Four versions are known.
Your best chance of seeing a Scream in real life is in the artist’s hometown of Oslo, which holds the only three versions of the work not in a private collection. The best-known Scream belongs to Oslo’s National Gallery, a 1893 painted version on cardboard that is a highlight of the collection—so much so that thieves stole it in 1994. The work was recovered later that year and has been here on permanent display ever since.
Ten years later, thieves managed to take another version of the painting. This time, a 1910 version (left) was taken from the Munch Museum and recovered two years later. It’s believed that this piece was created after Munch sold an earlier version from his own collection. The Museum also owns a crayon piece (right) which appears a little muddier and less resolved than the others. Dated 1893, some believe this sketch may actually be the artist’s original take on the theme.
Norway is proud of their most famous artists, and while he’s celebrated throughout the country, his works rarely travel. That’s why your best chance to experience his work is to head to Norway. To learn more about where to discover Edvard Munch in Norway pick up a copy of Art + Travel: Step into the Lives of Five Famous Painters.
And if you can’t make it to Oslo, you can see The Scream at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from Oct. 24-April 29.
October 4th, 2012