Thursday, November 14, 2013
The 10 most expensive works of art of all time.
How much did you pay for the artwork in your home? $50 for that cityscape print in your living room? $29 for the Italian-inspired plaque with a wine glass and grapes in your kitchen? Or even nothing, for the weird painting of clowns and monkeys your mother-in-law made for you, which you have prominently displayed in the back of the storage closet, only to be removed and hung upon her annual Christmas visit? For the average person, that’s the extent of their art collection, but there are still people who will pay more for their artwork – and I mean a LOT more.
Just this week, Francis Bacon’s triple rendition of contemporary painter Lucian Freud sold for a whopping $142 million dollars at Christie’s auction!
So today, let’s look at the 10 most expensive pieces of artwork ever sold:
Pablo Picasso’s “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” painted in 1932 with his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, as the model, was purchased by an anonymous buyer. The price tag? $112 Million.
Swedish expressionist Edvard Munch’s famed painting, “The Scream,” one of a 4-part composition he made with paint and pastel 1895, was picked up by the Royal Family of Qatar. Rumors that Munch painted this work using a single mother in the morning before her Starbucks are untrue.
“Garçon à la Pipe” a 1905 work by Pablo Piccaso during his more vibrant and cheery Rose Period, was purchased by European pasta makers, Barilla Group. $126 mil is a lot of spaghetti!
Pierre-August Renoir’s 1876 painting “Bal du Moulin de la Galette” was sold to Japanese paper mogel Ryoei Saito. Was he making money, as part of his line of paper products?
The afore-mentioned Irish figurative painter Francis Bacon had his 1969 triptych, “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” (1969), purchased by Acquavella Galleries at Christie’s auction in Manhattan this week.
Dutch post-impressionist Vincent van Gogh – he of one good ear – would have still heard the sound of cash registers ringing as his 1890 work, “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” was added to Saito’s prominent connection.
Gustav Klimt’s, an Austrian symbolist and part of the famed Vienna Secession Movement, had his 1907 masterpiece “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” purchased by Ronald Lauder for his chic Fifth Avenue gallery, Neue Galerie. Reports are that he did not pay with a check.
American hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen recently purchased the prolific artist Willem de Kooning’s “Woman III.” Let’s hope that Cohen didn’t use taxpayer bailout money to buy it!
Jackson Pollock, abstract expressionist famous for his “drip” style, hit big with the sale of his 1948 work “No. 5, 1948,” to an anonymous buyer. We can certainly say that Pollock painted better than he named them!
The biggest art purchase of all time was not a Picasso or Van Gogh, Monet or Dali, but Paul Cezanne’s 1892 “The Card Players,” purchased, again, by the art-loving and free-spending Royal Family of Qatar. Cezanne, a Frenchman who lived his whole life in Aix-en-Provence, is credit for transitioning the art world from 19th century Impressionism to the 20th century’s Cubism, made popular by predecessors Picasso and Matissee.