the scream
Edvard Munch's The Scream

In May, 2010, Pablo Picasso's 1932 lilac-hued oil painting of his young mistress, Marie-Therese Walter set new records after selling for a staggering £65.6 million in New York.

Two years later, the art world is waiting for an upcoming Sotheby's auction wherein a painting by artist Edvard Munch is expected to shatter Picasso's records fetching up to £92.42 million.

If predictions are to be believed, the 1895 pastel by Norwegian Symbolist painter Edvard Munch would sell at a much higher price than the estimated amount of £49.29 million.

"I think it will go to £92.54 million," Reuters quoted London-based art expert Nicolai Frahm, of Frahm as saying about the painting. "This is the first time we have ever had such an iconic work up for sale. This painting is way more famous than the artist ever was."

According to the Wall Street Journal, included in the list of potential buyers is the royal family in Qatar, which is building a museum empire and reportedly purchased Paul Cézanne's "The Card Players" for at least £154 million not long ago.

Others include international collectors like Geneva-based billionaire Lily Safra, who spent £64.3 million for Alberto Giacometti's sculpture, "Walking Man I," or American cosmetics executive Ronald Lauder, who paid £83.2 million in the private acquisition of Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I" for his New York museum, the WSJ reports.

Sotheby's has reportedly, in a rare move, sent the art piece to different areas in Europe, Asia and North America so that potential buyers could check if the image clashed with the rest of their art collection.

The art work will be part of Sotheby's Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale and is regarded as one of the most recognizable images in both art history and popular culture. Munch created "The Scream" as the central element of his celebrated Frieze of Life series. Four versions of the painting were created by Munch.

The prime example is housed in the National Gallery of Norway; another pastel version from the same year is thought to be a preliminary sketch for the work, and is owned by the Munch Museum in Oslo.

The present work from the Olsen Collection, created in 1895 from pastel on board, most closely follows the prime composition in the National Gallery.