The work, created in 1895, was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder.

Two anonymous telephone bidders kept raising the price once it reached the $80 million mark.

The price tag topped the beat the previous world record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction, held by Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust. That sold at Christie’s in New York for $106 million (£70 million) in May 2010.

Petter Olsen, a Norwegian businessman, whose family knew Munch and who have owned the portrait since the 1930s, put the work up for sale.

There are four versions of The Scream, three of which are in museums.

This version was the only one in private hands and is considered the most sought-after as it contains a poem– written in the artist’s own hand – on the frame.

The Poem reads: “I was walking along the road with two Friends / the Sun was setting – The Sky turned a bloody red / And I felt a whiff of Melancholy – I stood / Still, deathly tired – over the blue-black / Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire / My Friends walked on – I remained behind / – shivering with Anxiety – I felt the great Scream in Nature – EM.”