The second most expensive painting in the world is up for auction at Sotheby’s for $50 million

After the 2012 frenzy caused by Sotheby’s, when Norwegian painter Edvard Munch’s iconic painting ‘The Scream’ fetched a record $119.9 million – another exquisite Munch painting is out to repeat history. This time it is Girls on the Bridge, a 1902 canvas. The painting depicts a group of women standing on a bridge in long and colorful dresses.

As part of its evening sale of Impressionist and Modern Art scheduled for November 14, 2016, Sotheby’s is putting up this pricey Munch painting in its semi-annual auction. The costliest amongst the announced 43 lots targeting over $145.8 million, Girls on the Bridge will spearhead Sotheby’s November auction/sale.

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Although the globally renowned auction house is not exactly expecting one more record-breaker of all times, they have stamped a whopping $50 million estimate on Girls on the Bridge. The bidding could even exceed this figure once the auction is set in motion. Regardless of whether it exceeds the $50 million mark or not, its sale would represent the second most expensive painting after The Scream.

However, Sotheby’s said that this year’s figures represent a sharp 52% decline from the amounts that were generated from a similar auction a year ago. Last year, only two paintings from billionaire William Koch’s elite collection totaled $101 million.

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Simon Shaw, the company’s global Co-head of Impressionist and Modern Art, clarified that five Munch auction records have been set for Sotheby’s in the past two decades. He however points out that there is more of an appetite to buy, but there aren’t too many people willing to sell. Shaw attributes this to the fact that discretionary sellers are being affected by the ambiguity over UK’s Brexit, oil prices, and the US presidential elections.


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