Munch’s Girls on the Bridge yields $54M bid at Sotheby’s

A work by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch fetched over $54 million at Sotheby’s auction of impressionist and modern art on Monday.

Girls on the Bridge, a seminal work from 1902, depicts a cluster of girls huddled on a bridge in a country village. It sold in 1996 for $7.7 million and again in 2008 for $30.8 million, each time setting a record for the artist.

In 2012, Munch’s work The Scream, one of the most iconic images in art history, sold for $119.9 million at Sotheby’s. It became the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction, a record that has been broken four times since.

Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers (Version O) now holds that distinction. It sold last year for $179.4 million.

Other works at Monday’s auction include a large-scale painting by Picasso, The Painter and His Model, from 1963. The five-foot-wide painting has descended through the same family since it was acquired in 1968. It garnered $12.9 million, just edging its low presale estimate of $12 million.

A 1951 bronze bust by Picasso of his lover and muse Francoise Gilot, Head of a Woman, fetched $8.4 million.

An early cubist composition by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, Untitled (Cubist Composition), from 1916 sold for just over $900,000.

The sale also had two abstract works by Laszlo Maholy-Nagy that recently appeared in a retrospective of his work at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The 1923 work, EM 1 Telephonbild, sold for $6 million, topping its high presale estimate of $4 million.