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Second most expensive painting ever is up for auction

Written by
Howard Halle

In 2014, Sotheby’s caused a stir when it brought the hammer down on the single largest price ever paid for a painting: Edvard Munch’s The Scream, which fetched a record $119.9 million. Now, the venerable auction house is bringing out another Munch as part of its November sale of Impressionist and Modern art. While Sotheby’s isn’t expecting another all-time record-breaker, they have put a $50 million dollar estimate on the piece (the 1902 canvas, Girls on the Bridge), which would make it the second most expensive painting after The Scream. Originally purchased in the 1960s by California millionaire Norton Simon, the work has appeared in major shows at the Tate Gallery in London and the Guggenheim. While $50 million is a lot, the bidding could conceivably exceed that figure once it gets started. No way to say for sure, of course, but Sotheby’s has done right by Munch, setting five different records for his work over the last 20 years.

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