Wikicollecting Top 10 World's Most Expensive Photographs As the world record price for a photograph at auction is broken once more, discover the ten most expensive images ever sold with this guide from Wikicollecting.org.
News-Antique.com - Nov 11,2011 - 10. Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe Nude (1919) - $1.36m
Stieglitz’s black-and-white 1919 work Georgia O'Keeffe Nude sold at Sotheby’s New York in February 2006 for $1.36m, far above its high-end estimate of $500,000.
The photograph depicts the body of O'Keeffe, Stieglitz’s then-lover and subsequent wife. It was considered controversial and innovative at the time; O'Keeffe herself commented on the series of shots, stating that "nothing like them had come into our world before."
9. Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe (Hands) (1919) - $1.47m
Georgia O'Keeffe (Hands) sold at Sotheby’s New York in February 2006 for $1.47m.
The black-and-white work depicts a pair of hands apparently scratching at each other.
8. Edward Weston, Nude (1925) - $1.60m
Nude sold at Sotheby’s, New York in April 2008 for $1.60m.
It was taken in 1925, presumably in San Francisco where Weston was working and living at the time.
7. Dmitry Medvedev, Kremlin of Tobolsk (2009) - $1.75m
Kremlin of Tobolsk was produced in 2009 by Dmitry Medvedev, the current president of the Russian Federation.
The black-and-white work is an aerial view of the Tobolsk Kremlin in Siberia and its environs.
It sold for $1.75m at a charity auction in St Petersburg in January 2010.
6. Unknown photographer, Billy the Kid (1879-80) - $2.30m
The only authenticated photograph of US outlaw Billy the Kid sold for $2.30m at Brian Lebel’s Old West Show & Auction in June 2011, against a pre-sale estimate of $300,000 to $400,000.
The depiction of “The Kid” was taken in New Mexico in 1879 or 1880. He was killed in 1881, at the age of 21, by Sheriff Pat Garrett.
5. Edward Steichen, The Pond – Moonlight (1904) - $2.92m
The Pond – Moonlight sold for $2.92m in February 2006 at a Sotheby’s auction in New York.
US photographer Steichen took the depiction of the wetlands around Mamaroneck, New York in 1904.
Three prints of the photograph are known to exist. The other two are held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (both in New York).
4. Andreas Gursky, 99 Cent II Diptychon (2001) - $3.34m
Andreas Gursky produced the large-scale 99 Cent II Diptychon in 2001. The two-part work (a diptych) depicts two North-American supermarket scenes.
It sold for $3.34m at a Sotheby’s auction in February 2007.
3. Richard Prince, Untitled (Cowboy) (1989) - $3.40m
The “rephotograph” is one of a number from Prince’s Cowboys series, which were produced between 1980 and 1992.
Cigarette advertisements of the Marlboro Man were the basis of the work.
Untitled (Cowboy) sold for $3.40m at Sotheby’s New York in November 2007.
2. Cindy Sherman, Untitled #96 (1981) - $3.89m
Sherman’s 1981 work sold for $3.89m at Christie’s New York in May 2011.
It is a colour photograph of the artist, dressed to look like an adolescent, clutching a piece of torn newspaper. It is one of 10 prints of the photograph.
1. Andreas Gursky, Rhein II (1999) - $4.33m
Gursky’s Rhein II sold for $4.33m at Christie’s in