An unknown bidder paid $119.9 million for Edvard Munch's iconic painting last night, setting a world record for the highest price ever paid for a single work of art. The rare private sale of one of the art world's most recognizable (and most widely copied) images was met with aggressive bidding, that not only pushed the bill past the previous standard — a $106 million Picasso — but boosted the prices of dozens of other notable works that were also on the block at Sotheby's.
Munch actually created four versions of "The Scream" in 1895, but this is the only one that still remains in private hands, with the other three all hanging in Norwegian museums. The sale was actually met with protests from those believe that such a famous work of art should not be restricted to a private collection. The man who sold it is the son of a friend of Munch's. The final price includes a healthy 12 percent commission for the auction house.