Sotheby's Rides on the Munch Wave With Warhol Prints Inspired by the Norwegian Master

Sotheby's Rides on the Munch Wave With Warhol Prints Inspired by the Norwegian Master
Andy Warhol, The Scream (After Munch), detail, Screenprint in a unique combination of colours, 1984

Last May's record-breaking Sotheby's sale of Edvard Munch's "The Scream" for £73.9m — the highest price every paid for an artwork at auction — marked the start of a Munch mania, subsequently fuelled by Tate Modern's ambitious retrospective of the Norwegian painter's oeuvre.

The auction house now hopes to continue cashing in on the trend, and is offering three unique Andy Warhol prints inspired by Munch at its Sale of Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Prints in London on September 19, 2012.

All dating from 1984, "The Scream (After Munch)", "Eva Mudocci (After Munch)", and "Madonna and Self-Portrait with Skeleton’s Arm (After Munch)" come from a European private collection and have a combined presale estimate of £500,000 – 750,000.

It is easy to imagine how Warhol could have felt a particular affinity with the tortured Norwegian master. The ghostly way in which the American artist chose to depict himself in "Madonna and Self-Portrait with Skeleton's Arm (After Munch)" pertains to a Munchian anguished psyche, while Warhol's Madonna, shown like in Munch's original during the conception, is bursting with Hollywood glamour.

With "The Scream," Warhol was also tackling what had already become a Campbell's Soup-like global brand, an image so recognizable that — like the Mona Lisa he famously reproduced — it could signify "art" at once glance. 

The Sotheby's sale, which comprises about 200 pieces from the last five centuries, also includes a Munch woodcut of "The Girls on the Bridge," currently on show at Tate Modern (presale estimate: £180,000 – 200,000).