The 10 most expensive works of the history of art auctions
With the most recent affirmation of auctions as one of the major “players” in the art market, and looking to the succession of record sales, we are certain that the “who is who” of numbers and artworks is something shuffled .
Thinking about the need of organizing the ideas, we have prepared a list of the top 10 most expensive artworks sold at auction.
1. Pablo Picasso, ‘Les Femmes d’Alger (version 0)’
Painted in 1955, Pablo Picasso’s artwork reached the position of ‘most expensive work ever sold at auction’ in May 2015, with a sale at Christie’s (New York) of $179.3 million.
2. Francis Bacon, ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’
The oil painting made by the British artist, considered one of the most important of his legacy, was auctioned in November 2013 at Christie’s (New York) for $142.4 million.
3. Alberto Giacometti, ‘Ponting Man’
The bronze piece, created in 1947 and part of a series of six sculptures, is the only hand-painted by Giacometti himself. At the same auction in which Picasso’s work reached the current record, this piece became the most valuable sculpture of the world, sold for $141.28 million.
4. Edvard Munch, ‘The scream’
Munch painted four versions of ‘The Scream’. Three of them are in museums in Norway, and the fourth was sold for $120 million in May 2012.
5. Pablo Picasso, ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’
The second work of the Spanish artist to appear on this list was painted in 1932 and portrays Marie-Thérèse Walter, a woman with whom Picasso maintained a love affair years earlier. It was auctioned in 2010 for the amount of $106.5 million.
6. Andy Warhol, ‘Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)’
The artwork painted by Andy Warhol at age of 35 was only publicly displayed once. In November 2013, this piece of the most prominent figure of pop art was sold for $105.4 million at Sotheby’s.
7. Alberto Giacometti, ‘L’Homme qui marche’
The second protagonist with two appearances on this list is Alberto Giacometti. The Swiss artist produced this 183cm work in 1961, and saw its recognition reach to $104.3 million in 2010 at a Sotheby’s auction (London).
8. Pablo Picasso, ‘Garçon à la Pipe’
In 2004, ‘Garçon à la Pipe’ became the first painting auctioned for more than $ 100 million. The work portrays a young man who used to visit Picasso’s studio, and was produced at age of 24, in a phase known for “pink”, due to the predominance of pink and orange tones on his creations.
9. Alberto Giacometti, ‘Chariot’
For the third and last time, Giacometti appears again on this list with the sculpture ‘Chariot’. Having been produced five versions of the piece, which are currently on display at places like Giacometti Museum and MoMa, this sculpture was sold for $100.9 million in 2014.
10. Mark Rothko, ‘Orange, Red, Yellow’
The artwork painted in 1961 by the American artist Mark Rothko was auctioned in May 2012 for $86.8 million.