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The most expensive artworks in pictures

March 14, 2014



                             The Card Players, Paul Cézanne, $250 million

 The Card Players is a series of fivel paintings during Cézanne’s final period in 1890s by Paul Cézanne. The version of The Card Players sold in 2011 to the Royal Family of Qatar for a price variously estimated at between $250 million and $300 million, was the most expensive work of art ever sold. Although the sale of this artwork was in 2011, the details of the “secret deal” only appeared in 2012. The previous owner of the painting was the Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos and the four other Cézanne paintings that belong to the post-Impressionist series are in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Courtauld Institute in London and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

bacon-auction-3_2732553k                Three Studies of Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, $142.4 million

The triptych was painted in 1969 It was exhibited in 1970 at the Galleria d’Arte Galatea in Turin, and after was included in a retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf in 1971–72. The three panels of the triptych were sold separately during the 70´s, Bacon didn´t like that the panels were separated. He wrote on a photograph of the left-hand panel that it was “meaningless unless it is united with the other two panels.” The panels had different collectors until the late 80s, when one of the original buyers, a collector from Rome known as Francesco De Simone Niquesa, reassembled the work. The reassembled triptych was exhibited in the US, at theYale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut in 1999.

On 12 November 2013, the triptych sold for $142.4 million to an unknown buyer at Christie’s New York , and became the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction. Bacon’s triptych surpassed the record of $119.9 million that had the fourth version of Edvard Munch’s Scream in May 2012

Sin título-1.jpgio                     Nº5,Jackson Pollock, $140 million

No. 5, 1948 is a painting by Jackson Pollock, within the abstract expressionist movement. The painting was done on a sheet of fibreboard, with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top of it, forming a nest-like look. First was owned by Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr. and showed at the Museum of Modern Art before being sold to David Geffen and after to David Martinez in 2006. According to a report in The New York Times on November 2, 2006, the painting was sold by David Geffen, co-founder of DreamWorks , to David Martinez, managing partner of Fintech Advisory Ltd, in a private sale for a record price of $140 million, however, the lawyers of Martinez, the firm of Shearman & Sterling, LLP, issued a press release on behalf of its client, to announce that he does not own the painting. This sale would make the painting as the second most expensive ever sold, privately or at auction, exceeding the sale of Gustav Klimt’s 1907 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer to Ronald Lauder, that belongs to the Estée Lauder Companies fortune, by around five million dollars.

zl68o9T.jpg650                                                Woman III,Willem de Kooning, $137.5 million

Willem de Kooning, abstract expressionist painter, between 1951 and 1953 did a series of six paintings being the woman the central theme. Woman III is one of these serie. From late 70s to 1994 this painting was part of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection, but after the revolution in 1979, this painting could not be shown because of strict rules set by the government about the visual arts and what they depict. Finally, in 1994 it was quietly traded by Thomas Ammann Fine Art to David Geffen for the remainder of the 16th century Persian manuscript, the Tahmasbi Shahnameh. In November 2006, the painting was sold by Geffen to Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million, only days after the sale of Pollock’s No. 5 in 2006 making it the third most expensive painting ever sold.This portrait, is the only one of the artist’s six-painting ‘Women’ series in a private collection.

large.jpg650                                    Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Gustav Klimt, $135 million

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I was painted by Gustav Klimt in 1907. It was the first of two portraits that Klimt painted of Bloch-Bauer. It has been fully representative work of his golden phase.The painting was appropriated by the Nazis, and its ownership was contested between the heirs of the original owners and the Austrian state, finally being settled by a panel of Austrian judges in favor of the family members. According to press reports, the work was later sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006,This is a price estimated by experts close to the deal, because Mr Lauder was forbidden from revealing the price, which was negotiated by Christie’s.

The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1893                                                 The Scream,Edvuard Munch, $120 million

Edvuard Munch explained which was the origin of his inspiration to paint the Scream

“I was walking along the road with two friends

The Sun was setting , the Sky turned blood-red.

And I felt a wave of Sadness I paused

tired to Death , Above the blue-black

Fjord and City Blood and Flaming tongues hovered

 My friends walked on, I stayed

behind , quaking with Angst , I

felt the great Scream in Nature”

The Scream, Edvard Munch’s expressionist masterpiece, was bought by an anonymous buyer for $120 million at Sotheby’s New York in 2012. The first owner was the businessman Petter Olsen, who acquired it because his father was a good friend of Munch’s. Bidding lasted just 12 minutes and the work had a starting price of $40 million.

9412430745_7288776482_o                                         Garçon à la Pipe, Pablo Picasso, $104.1 million

In 1905, immediately after moving to Montmartre, France, Pablo Picasso that was 24 year old, painted this artwork, an oil on canvas painting whose subject, a local boy who would visit Picasso’s studio, and is holding a pipe and wearing a garland or wreath of flowers. Many art critics say the high price is due more to the name of the artist than to the painting, this Rose Period piece is still an amazing work of art.   Picasso’s portrait, Garçon à la Pipe, was at the centre of a telephone bidding war at Sotheby’s in 2004, and was sold for $104.1 million.  

Portrait_of_Dr._Gachet            Portrait of Dr. Gachet, Vincent van Gogh, $82.5 million  

Van Gogh’s portrait of Dr. Gachet, the doctor that took care of him in the final time of his life, broke records when it was sold in 1990 for $82.5 million. However it is important to see the way that this artwork has followed.   First sold in 1897 by Van Gogh’s sister-in-law for 300 francs, the painting was subsequently bought by Paul Cassirer (1904), Kessler (1904), and Druet (1910). In 1911, the painting was acquired by the Städel (Städtische Galerie) in Frankfurt, Germany and was there until 1933, when the painting was put in a hidden room. The Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda confiscated the work in 1937 as part of its campaign to rid Germany of so-called degenerate art, leading to Hermann Göring hurriedly selling it to a dealer in Amsterdam. The dealer in turn sold it to collector Siegfried Kramarsky, who brought it with him when he went to New York, where the work was given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.   Kramarsky’s family put the painting for auction at Christie’s New York on May 15, 1990, where Ryoei Saito, honorary chairman of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Co., payed US$82.5 million for it. The 75-year old Japanese businessman briefly caused a scandal when he said he would have the Van Gogh painting burned with him after his death, though his aides later claimed Saito threatening to torch the masterpiece was just an expression of intense affection for it.   However, he later said that would consider to give the painting to the Japanese government or a museum. Until now, no information has been made public about the location and ownership of the portrait since his death in 1996. Reports in 2007 have claimed the painting was sold ten years before to the Austrian investment fund manager Wolfgang Flöttl, in turn, had reportedly been forced by financial reversals to sell the painting to parties as yet unknown.  

Titian_-_Diana_and_Actaeon_-_1556-1559.jpg650                                                                Diana and Actaeon,Titian, $82,4 million  

This painting by Renaissance master Titian is one in a series of seven famous “poesies” canvasses by the painter. Now in the joint possession of the National Gallery in London and the National Galleries of Scotland, the previous owner the Duke of Sutherland claimed he didn’t do too well out of the $82,4 million deal. The Duke will avoid inheritance tax and capital gains tax by selling the paintings to public collections, however he was reported saying he could have made more money by selling them in the open market.  

renoirbal_2471555k              Bal du Moulin de la Galette, Pierre- Auguste Renoir, $78.1 million  

Sold in 1990, Renoir’s depiction of Sunday afternoon jollity in Paris’s Montmartre reached $78.1 million at an auction held at Sotheby’s. As the painting was also bought by the controversial Japanese industrialist Ryoei Saito, its whereabouts are also unknown after Saito’s death. It is thought to be in the hands of a Swiss collector.    

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