Of all the art world's imaginary landscapes, idealized nudes and glowing depictions of Jesus, who would have thought the most popular image in art would be a pale scrawny guy clutching his face in agony? Edvard Munch's "The Scream" has haunted and enthralled us en masse for years, becoming an international symbol of our modern age of anxiety. Beginning this fall, MoMA visitors will receive a rare opportunity to see one of Munch's four versions of the iconic image, a pastel-on-board, up close.

Depicting a ghostly figure on a bridge, shrieking soundlessly into a blood red sky, the piece remains just as discomforting today as when it was first created in 1895. "The startling power of Munch's original work endures almost despite the image's present-day ubiquity," noted Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, in a press release. "The visual subtlety and complexity of this composition can't be summed up in a cliché." The work, which recently became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, is the only Scream version in private hands; the rest reside in museums in Norway.

"The Scream" is being lent by a private collector, and will be on view at MoMA through April 29, 2013.

To see more work by Edvard Munch, check out his exhibition 'The Modern Eye,' now on view at the Tate Modern.

What do you think, viewers? Is "The Scream" worth all the hype?

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  • Edvard Munch Puberty 1914-16 Oil on canvas 97 x 77 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch 'Zum Süssen Mädel' [To the Sweet Young Girl] 1907 Oil on canvas 85 x 130.5 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Vampire 1893 Oil on canvas 80.5 x 100.5 Goteborgs konstmuseum, Gothenborg © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch Sailors in the Snow 1910-12 Oil on canvas 96 x 76 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch New Snow in the Avenue 1906 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch Starry Night 1922-1924 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch Self-Portrait: Between the Clock and the Bed 1940-1943 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch The Girls on the Bridge 1927 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch Red Virginia Creeper 1898-1900 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch The Sick Child 1907 Tate © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

  • Edvard Munch Self-Portrait with Hat (Right Profile) at Ekely 1931 © Munch Museum

  • Edvard Munch The Sun 1910-13 Oil on canvas 162 x 205 Munch Museum © Munch Museum/Munch-EllingsendGroup/DACS 2012

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