Page last updated at 13:17 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 14:17 UK

Munch's Vampire to be auctioned

Vampire will go under the hammer on 3 November

Edvard Munch's 1894 masterpiece Vampire is to be sold after more than 70 years in the hands of a private collector.

Vampire, often seen as the sister of Munch's iconic painting The Scream, will be auctioned at Sotheby's, in New York, for an estimated $35m (19m).

It would smash the existing Munch record of $30.8m (16.65m) set in May for Girls on a Bridge.

Vampire provoked controversy when it was first unveiled, stoking early-20th Century fears about women's liberation.

It depicts a man and woman locked in an embrace and represents themes of love, sex and death.

'Intense feelings'

The painting will go on public display at Sotheby's in London from 3-7 October, and in Moscow from 16-19 October, before being auctioned on 3 November.

Simon Shaw, senior vice president and head of Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Art Department in New York, said: "Few paintings pack as hard a punch as Munch's Vampire.

"Like The Scream, it distils extraordinarily intense feelings into a simple, unforgettable motif.

"The lovers, locked in their dark embrace, evoke love's paradox as a source of tenderness and pain."

Emmanuel Di-Donna, vice-chairman, Impressionist and Modern Art Worldwide, said: "This painting could not have come on to the auction market at a better time.

"International buyers have already witnessed the potential of a great Munch with Girls on the Bridge which Sotheby's sold last May for over $30m.

"The November sale represents a unique opportunity for those collectors who are avidly seeking a masterpiece as powerful and emotionally charged as some of the greatest works by Bacon, Freud and Hirst that have been making headlines in recent auction seasons."

Scream painting back on display
23 May 08 |  Entertainment
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31 Aug 06 |  Entertainment

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