The most expensive paintings ever sold at auction

254 ml di $: Paul Cèzanne. Giocatori di carte, 1893-96, (part.)
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The Card Players of Paul Cezanne is the most expensive work of art ever sold, it was sold in 2011 for $250 million to The Royal Family of Qatar. Even if the deal was kept secrets, the details came outside only in February 2012, the work was first in the hand of the Greek ship owner George Embiricos.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud of Francis Bacon in November 2013 became the piece of art sold with the highest price attained at auction, 142.4 million .

Three Studies of Lucian Freud is a paint of 1969, dedicated by Bacon to his friend-enemy Lucian Freud.

Francis Bacon. Tre studi di Lucian Freud, 1969
Francis Bacon. Three studies of Lucian Freud, 1969

The sell of Number 5 by Jackson Pollock was hidden in mystery. When it was sold in 2006 for $159 million it gained the record of the worldwide expensive art work. It is speculated that it was bought by David Martinez, soon after denied. The trade of the dripping in 1948 was signed by Sotheby.

Few days after the N.5 sell, in 2006, was also made over the Willem de Kooning’s Woman III to the American millionaire Steven Cohen per $156 million.

The portrait is the only paint of the series “Women” handed by a private . The sell gained the record surpassing the trade of Gustav Klimt work dated 1907 , Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer 1. Sold by Maria Altmann to Ronald Lauder, American businessman and philanthropist, with a price of $155,8 million, now shown at the Neue Galerie in New York.

Jackson Pollock. Numero 5
Jackson Pollock. Number 5

The Expressionist masterpiece of Edvard Munch, The Scream, was sold for $119,922,600 at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art auction on 2 May 2012. The former owner was the businessman Petter Olsen who bought the work thanks to the friendship between his father and the Norwegian artist. The offer lasts only 12 minutes with a starting price of 40 million. According to the Wall Street Journal the anonymous buyer was the financier Leon Black. The trade became the second highest nominal price paid for a painting at auction.

The charming portrait by Picasso Boy with a Pipe, was sold, after a war of telephone offers in the Sotheby auction in 2004, for US$104,168,000 to Guido Barilla, owner of the Barilla Group. The painting sold by the gallerists John Hay Whitney and Betsey Cushing Roosevelt Whitney and maybe due to their influences in the art scene the prize rose up so easily.

The Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh fetched every records when was sold in 1990 for $149,5 million. The portrait is about his own doctor and was bought by an art merchant of Tokyo for the Japanese Ryoei Saito. However, after Saito death, the portrait disappear from the art market and we still don’t know its destiny.

The Pablo Picasso’s 1932 work Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was auctioned the last may for US$112 million. It’s one of the most expensive art work even if has not been visible to public since 1961. The painting depict the young Marie-Therèse Walter, one of Picasso’s lover, he was immortalized in a bust that looks towards his lover.

Pablo Picasso. Nudo, foglie verdi e busto, 1932
Pablo Picasso. Nude, green leaves and bust, 1932

The work strong>Walking Man I of Alberto Giacometti , sold by Sotheby’s for $104,3 million, is the only sculpture presents in the list of the top ten. The buyer was Brazilian magnate Lily Safra. Before this sculpture we find Jasper Johns strong>Flag, eighth most expensive work of art, auctioned for $118,3 million in May of 2012.

Diana and Atteone of Tiziano is the only antique piece that we can find in the chart. It’s one of seven paintings from the famous series “Poetry”. Nowadays jointly owned by the National Gallery of London and Scotland, was held by the Duke of Sutherland that sold the work with regret for 63 million of Euros.

To finish the list there is Bal du Moulin de la Galette of Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The smallest version of the painting hosted in Orsay’s Museum was sold in a Sotheby’s auction for $141,5 million. The piece was bought from the Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito and after his death it is thought to be in the hand of a Swiss art collector.

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