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...
Garcon a la Pipe by Pablo Picasso - $104.1 million
In 1950, Garcon a la Pipe was bought by John Witney, a former US ambassador to Britain for $30,000.
In 2004, the painting was sold at auction by Sotheby’s, New York for $104.1 million, making it the most expensive painting at that time.
6) Eight Elvises by Andy Warhol
Eight Elvises, which measures over 12 foot long, was sold by Italian collector Annibale Berlingieri to a private collector brokered by Philippe Ségalot, a French art consultant for $100 million in 2008.
The sale is a World Record price for a Warhol piece.
7) Dora Maar au Chat by Pablo Picasso - $95.2 million
Dora Maar au Chat depicts Dora Maar, Picasso’s Croatian mistress, sitting on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulder.
In 2005, the Gidwitz family of Chicago, at that time the owners of the painting, decided to auction it with Sotheby’s. It is believed that Sotheby’s had given the sellers a guarantee that the minimum amount the painting would sell for would be $53 million.
The auction was held on 3rd May, 2005 in Sotheby’s New York salesroom. The final bid was $95,216,000 well exceeding the pre-auction $53,000,000 estimate.
8) Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt – $88 million
In November 2006, Christie's auction house sold Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II at auction for $88 million, the third-highest priced piece of art at auction at the time.
9) Triptych, 1976 by Francis Bacon – $86.3 million
This painting was the centrepiece of arguably, the most important show of new work by Bacon, at the Galerie Claud Bernard, Paris in 1977. Shortly after that the painting was bought by an anonymous private owner and has featured in major surveys of Bacon’s work including the Tate Gallery in 1985 and the Pompidou Centre, Paris in 1996.
In December, 2010 Triptych, 1976 sold for $86.3 million at a Sotheby’s auction, beating the previous high price for a Bacon work which was £52.7 million paid for Study For Innocent X.
10) Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh - $82.5 million
This painting depicts Dr. Paul Gachet who took care of Van Gogh in the last months of his life. It is one of two very similar portraits of Dr. Gachet that Van Gogh painted.
In 1990 the painting sold for $82.5 million at a Christie’s sale in New York. The other version of the painting is owned by the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France.
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