One of the world's most recognisable artworks, The Scream by Edvard Munch, is expected to bring $80m to Sotheby's New York tomorrow (May 2).
The work is one of four copies created by the Norwegian Expressionist, and the only one to remain in private hands. The other two painted copies are currently housed in The National Gallery in Oslo and the Munch Museum.
The series was created by Munch between 1893 and 1910 and has become one of the most influential and recognisable works in the art world. The colourful depiction of an agonised figure has been reproduced in popular culture ever since its creation.
This example, a pastel version of the original oil painting, is the only one to feature a hand-painted frame by the artist, complete with a poem explaining its meaning. The most vibrant of the four, the piece is currently owned by Norwegian businessman, Petter Olsen.
On his reasons for the sale, Olsen said: "I feel the moment has come to offer the rest of the world a chance to own and appreciate this remarkable work, which is the only version of The Scream not in the collection of a Norwegian museum."
While official estimates for the work have been withheld by the auction house, experts have suggested it could see bids in the region of $80m. Paul Fraser Collectibles believes that the work could easily beat this price and may go on to break world records after receiving strong press attention.
The most expensive auctioned artwork remains, for one more day at least, Picasso's Nude Green Leaves, and Bust, which sold for $106.4m in 2010.
Cézanne's watercolour study for The Card Players is expected to bring $15,000-20,000 at Christie's today (May 1). The study was previously only known from a black and white photograph, but has emerged in the collection of Dr. Heinz F. Eichenwald.
The Card Players recently became the most expensive artwork ever sold, with the Qatari Royal Family paying $250m and fending off two of the world's top art dealers.