Until today, the buyer’s identity had been one of the art world’s best-kept secrets. The Wall Street Journal reported on July 11, 2012 that close friends confirmed the buyer was indeed Leon Black. The sale has made The Scream (1895) the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. The New York financier also happens to be the founder of private equity firm Apollo Global Management and board member for the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. According to the Los Angeles Times on July 11, Leon Black is number 107 on the Forbes World Billionaires. Black’s collection is valued at $750m and is one of the largest in the world; it includes paintings by Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Raphael, watercolours by J.M.W. Turner and bronze works from China. According to the Wall Street Journal, the American bus inessman bought Raphael’ s painting Head of a Muse at Christie’s. At $47.6m, it was a record sale-price for a work of art on paper.
With three other versions in existence, the Norwegian artist’s fourth The Scream is the only one not to be found in an Oslo museum, and is also the first to have been sold at auction