The Scream, an icon with a turbulent destiny


The version of The Scream (1893) from the National Gallery in Oslo. Dennis Hallinan / Alamy via Reuters Connect

The Musée d'Orsay exhibits a lithograph from the Gundersen collection of Shoutby Edvard Munch.

Ten years ago, The Scream soared to $119.92 million at Sotheby's in New York, becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction! It was one of four painted versions of this screaming figure, a universal allegory of anguish and despair, the Holy Grail for any collector. The American billionaire Leon Black did not miss this icon which belonged for seventy years to the same family, that of the Norwegian businessman Petter Olsen, whose father, Thomas, was the neighbor, the friend then the protector of the artist. Especially since this pastel version from 1895the only one in private hands, had the distinction of including, inscribed in red letters on its light wood frame, the poem that inspired it.

"For the exhibition, The Orsay museum asked for the loan, confirmed Christophe Leribault, former director of the Petit Palais, appointed head of the institution a year ago. But Leon Black refused, probably preferring to remain discreet…

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