Saturday, 27 October 2012

The Top Ten Most Expensive Paintings Of All-Time

"Beauty is bought by judgement of the eye." - William Shakespeare. In the case of the top ten most expensive paintings ever sold that beauty had an enormous price tag. The top ten is worth, based on their sale price and not including inflation, $1,276,200,000. That being said there is some great artwork. A billion dollars worth of art? I'm not so sure on that; but each to their own.

10. Gustav Klimt - Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Painted: 1912
Sold: 2006
Price: $87,900,000
Buyer: Private Collection

Adele Bloch-Bauer was the only model to be painted twice by Klimt. Adele's portraits had hung in the family home prior to their seizure by the Nazis during WWII. The Austrian museum where they resided after the war was reluctant to return them to their rightful owners, hence a protracted court battle in the United States and in Austria.

09. Pablo Picasso - Dora Maar au Chat

Painted: 1941
Sold: 2006
Price: $95,200,000
Buyer: Boris Ivanishvili

The canvas was one of many portraits of Dora Maar painted by Pablo Picasso over their nearly decade-long relationship. Picasso fell in love with the 29-year old Maar at the age of 55 and soon began living with her. This painting was done during the year 1941, when the Nazis were occupying France.

08. Andy Warhol - Eight Elvises

Painted: 1963
Sold: 2008
Price: $100,000,000
Buyer: Private Collection

Warhol's artwork ranged in many forms of media that include hand drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, silk screening, sculpture, film, and music. He was a pioneer in computer-generated art using Amiga computers that were introduced in 1985, just before his death in 1987.

07. Pablo Picasso - Garçon à la pipe

Painted: 1905
Sold: 2004
Price: $104,200,000
Buyer: Barilla Group

Early preparations of this work involved positioning the boy in all types of poses that involved standing, sitting or leaning against the wall. After much repositioning of the model, Picasso decided to go with the boy sitting down. Next was how to position the arm, where much time was also spent on the height and angle.

06. Pablo Picasso - Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Painted: 1932
Sold: 2010
Price: $106,500,000
Buyer: Private Collection

The painting is one of a series of portraits that Picasso painted of his mistress and muse Marie-Thérèse Walter from 1932. The vibrant blue and lilac canvas is more than five feet tall.

05. Edward Munch - The Scream

Painted: 1895
Sold: 2012
Price: $119,900,000
Buyer: Leon Black

The Scream has been the target of several high-profile art thefts. In 1994, the version in the National Gallery was stolen. It was recovered several months later. In 2004, both The Scream and Madonna were stolen from the Munch Museum, and recovered two years later.

04. Gustav Klimt - Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Painted: 1907
Sold: 2006
Price: $135,000,000
Buyer: Ronald Lauder

Klimt took three years to complete the painting. It is made of oil and gold on canvas, showing elaborate and complex ornamentation as seen in the Jugendstil style.

03. William de Kooning - Woman III

Painted: 1953
Sold: 2006
Price: $137,500,000
Buyer: Steven A. Cohen

Woman III is one of a series of six paintings by de Kooning done between 1951 and 1953 in which the central theme was a woman. 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.

02. Jackson Pollock - No. 5, 1948

Painted: 1948
Sold: 2006
Price: $140,000,000
Buyer: Private Collection

The painting was done on an 8' × 4' sheet of fiberboard, with thick amounts of brown and yellow paint drizzled on top of it, forming a nest-like appearance.

01. Paul Cézanne - The Card Players

Painted: 1892/93
Sold: 2011
Price: $250,000,000
Buyer: The Royal Family of Qatar

The models for the paintings were local farmhands, some of whom worked on the Cézanne family estate. One critic described the scenes as "human still life", while another speculated the men's intense focus on their game mirrors that of the painter's absorption in his art.

That being said all that money doesn't make any of them the most popular piece of art. That honor belongs to 'The Tennis Girl' by Martin Elliot; which has adorned more walls than all these expensive paintings put together.

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