With an estimated price tag of more than $80 million, some may gawk right back at Edvard Munch's "The Scream," the iconic painting to be auctioned in May. But based on recent sales, potential buyers are likely anxious to get out their checkbooks.
One of four versions of Norwegian expressionist painter Munch's classic piece of work will soon be auctioned by Sotheby's for an estimated $80 million. It could even fetch double that amount, according to some art experts. Interestingly, this version is the only one not currently owned by a Norwegian museum and instead part of a private collection. The other three versions of "The Scream" have all been stolen and subsequently recovered in recent years.
According to the head of Sotheby's impressionist and modern art department, Simon Shaw, the timing is especially favorable given that next year marks the 150th anniversary of Munch's birth. That said, surpassing the price of some recent sales will be no easy feat.
Just this month it was revealed that the royal family of Qatar completed the most expensive art transaction in history when it bought Paul Cézanne's "The Card Players" for $250 million. Likewise, the record for most expensive auction sale was set in 2010 when Pablo Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" fetched over $106 million at a Christie's auction.
Here are the ten most expensive works of art sold either privately or at auction (h/t AOL Money):