Apollo's Black Buyer Of Famous 'Scream' Painting

Jul 12 2012 | 9:41am ET

Apollo Global Management's Leon Black isn't the most well-known art collector in the alternative investments world. But he now owns what may well be the most famous single artwork in any of their collections.

Black was revealed as the buyer who paid an auction-record $119.9 million for Edvard Munch's iconic painting, "The Scream," in May, The Wall Street Journal reports. The identity of the buyer was not previously known.

"The Scream" features an agonized-looking figure walking near a popular suicide spot in Oslo, Norway. Black's copy, an 1895 pastel, is the only one of four paintings or pastels of the image Much created not owned by an Oslo museum.

While Black has not been as public about his collecting as SAC Capital Advisors' Steven Cohen or Exis Capital's Adam Sender, his collection is worth a reported $750 million. It focuses primarily on drawings—three years ago, Black set a record for a drawing at auction when he paid $47.6 million for one by Raphael. Black has also helped Estée Lauder heir Ronald Lauder buy two paintings for his Neue Galerie New York museum.

Black's plans for the famed painting are unclear. His New York apartment is said to be filled with pieces from his collection, which he has not frequently put on public display. He does, however, sit on the boards of both New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art.

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