‘Girls on the Bridge’ Painting Might Fetch $50 Million at Sotheby’s Auction

29 October 2016

A cluster of girls have come together in a mysterious huddle on a bridge in Norway. Although the picture is a representation of the real world, it looks more like a creepy vision or a nightmare. Whatever it depicts, the 1902 Girls on the Bridge is a masterpiece by Edvard Munch, and is estimated to be worth $50 million.

Sotheby’s uncovered highlights of its November Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art in New York. According to Sotheby’s, Edvard Munch’s Girls on the Bridge, will lead the upcoming auction in November 14.

It was just two years ago when Sotheby’s brought the hammer down on the highest price ever paid for a painting.

The painting was none other than Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream‘, which sold for $119.9 million.

Although Sotheby’s isn’t expecting Edvard Munch’s Girls on the Bridge to be another record-breaker of all time, they have estimated its price to be $50 million.

If the painting sells at that price, it will be Munch’s second most expensive painting in the world after The Scream.

Cheerful Colors but No Cheerful Feeling!

The Norwegian painter painted Girls on the Bridge during one of the most stressful yet productive periods of his life. The painting continues Munch’s journey into the world of both love and death.

Even though at first glance, the painting seems friendly, it also delivers a feeling of separation and tension.

What we’ve got here is a bridge in Norway on which a bunch of young women have huddled together secretively. It’s surely summer as the colors and dresses imply.

Girls on the Bridge - Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch’s Girls on the Bridge, 1902 | Image source: www.sothebys.com

Summer is short but the most enjoyable season in Norway. And yet, it’s not easy to work up a happy mood while looking at the painting. In other words, the arrangement of shapes, tones and colors simply won’t allow it.

First, the bridge is in atypical pink, and has red, yellow and blue stripes on its surface. Also, the blackish green trees have solid outlines, and the still deep water reflects the image of the biggest tree.

On the one hand, the girls have cheerful dresses on, but on the other hand, they seem to be worriedly taking shelter in their very closeness. In fact, the only thing which distinguishes between the girls, is the contrasting colors of their dresses.

The picture is surely depicting the real world. Despite that, the overall composition and palette evokes the feeling of an unreal world which could be similar to a nightmare.

Unquestionable Impact on 20th Century Art

Edvard Munch’s Girls on the Bridge ranks as one of his most popular and influential paintings. The painting per se has twice broken Edvard Munch’s world auction record at Sotheby’s.

According to Sotheby’s, it was Norton Simon, the California millionaire who brought the painting into the U.S in the 1960s. Ever since, the work has appeared in major shows such as Tate Modern in London and Guggenheim in New York.

Is this painting really going to sell at this price? We can’t say for sure since $50 million is a huge amount of money.

However, as for Edvard Munch’s artworks, Sotheby’s has been doing great so far. Don’t forget that during the past 20 years, Sotheby’s has set five different records for Munch’s works.

With that in mind, chances are that the bidding even tops $50 million once the auction starts.

If you are fond of masterworks such as Girls on the Bridge, consider checking out Ten Most Famous Paintings in the World as well.