Rialto Bridge, looking North, from the Fondamenta del Carbon’ - Francesco Guardi - $44.3 million
This stunning 18th century work depicting the Grand Canal in Venice became the second-most expensive Old Master painting ever sold earlier this year.
Having been sold just once before in its long history, the auction was much anticipated and didn’t disappoint as the painting exceeded its estimate to bring £26,697,250 ($44,362,820).
3) ‘I Can See the Whole Room!… And There’s Nobody in It!’ - Roy Lichtenstein - $43.2 million
Almost exactly 12 months to the day after setting the record for a work by Roy Lichtenstein ($42,642,500 for ‘Ohhh...Alright...’ on November 10, 2010), Christie’s were at it again.
This time it was the 1961 painting ‘I Can See the Whole Room!… And There’s Nobody in It!’, one of the artist’s earliest experiments with comic book art. The importance of the piece was clearly recognized as it sold for a record price of $43,202,500 in New York on November 8.
2) ‘1949-A-No.1’ - Clyfford Still - $61.68 million
Although not the most well-known name on the list, Still has been described as a “highly influential maverick” who was at the forefront of the Abstract Expressionism movement after WWII.
Four of his paintings (which rarely appear at auction) were consigned by the City of Denver to raise funds for the Clyfford Still Museum in November at Sotheby’s. The monumental canvas ‘1949-A-No.1’ topped the sale when it sold for a record $61,682,500, making it the second-most expensive work sold at auction in 2011.
1) 'Eagle Standing on Pine Tree' - Qi Baishi - $65.5 million
The most expensive artwork sold in 2011 was the painting 'Eagle Standing on Pine Tree' by the celebrated Chinese artist Qi Baishi.
Painted in 1946 for China's then-leader Chiang Kai-shek, the work smashed the auction record for a contemporary Chinese painting when it sold in Beijing in May 2011 at a China Guardian sale for a price of 425.5 million yuan ($65.5 million).
For more news, articles and information about art sales around the world, visit http://en.wikicollecting.org/