Wikicollecting: the Top 10 most expensive paintings ever sold As TV art critic Alastair Sooke tracks down the most valuable paintings ever auctioned, here are the Top 10 brought to you by Wikicollecting...
News-Antique.com - Jul 08,2011 - This weekend, the BBC is showing the first part of art critic Alastair Sooke’s mission to track down the 10 most expensive paintings ever sold at auction, featuring the likes of Picasso, Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh.
The programme, The World's Most Expensive Paintings, goes out on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday July 10th. But, if you can’t wait until then, here a list of the Top 10 most expensive paintings ever sold, brought to you by Wikicollecting.
Wikicollecting is a project to create a free, up-to-date and reliable online encyclopaedia for collectors.
Anyone is free to become a Wikicollector. That means, if you don’t agree with our list, then you can simply visit http://en.wikicollecting.org/top-10-most-expensive-paintings-ever-sold, and add your own contribution.
1) No. 5 by Jackson Pollock - $140 million
In 2006 No. 5 became the most expensive painting ever sold when it was sold by US media magnate David Geffen for around $140 million, though the exact sale price is not known.
Details of the sale are unknown but the deal is said to have been brokered by Sotheby’s auctioneer Tobias Meyer.
It is thought that the buyer was Mexican financer David Martinez, a managing partner at Fintech Advisory Limited, however Martinez’s law firm announced that he was not the owner of the painting.
The alleged sale is still shrouded in mystery but it is widely accepted that No. 5 by Jackson Pollock is currently the most expensive painting ever sold.
2) Woman III by Willem de Kooning - $137.5 million
This painting was also owned by David Geffen, who sold it to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million in November 2006.
Geffen acquired the painting in 1994 from a Tehran museum in a quiet trade with the help of Doris Ammann, a Zurich dealer, on the tarmac of Vienna airport. Thomas Ammann Fine Art traded the painting.
Prior to Geffen’s airport deal, the painting was in the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection. It was there from the 1970s to 1994, but could not be shown after the 1979 Islamic Revolution because of strict rules set by the government about the visual arts and what they depict.
3) Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt - $135 million
Completed in 1907, this painting’s subject, Adele Bloch-Bauer, is the only woman Klimt painted more than once.
According to press reports it was sold for $135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006, making it the most expensive painting in the world at the time.
The painting has been on display at the Neue Galerie since 2006.
4) Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso - $106.5 million
This painting, which was held in the personal collection of Los Angeles art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody for nearly six decades, was sold by $106.5 million by Christie’s in 2010.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is one of a series of Picasso portraits of his mistress and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter.