Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi: Here’s a list of the world’s 10 costliest artworks
This November, auction house Christie’s is slated to sell Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting Salvator Mundi for $100 million. Here are some other paintings that have fetched record prices.art and culture Updated: Oct 24, 2017 09:14 IST
Art may be for art’s sake, but it also leads to a lot of money changing hands. Every year, a new painting becomes the rage, and fetches astronomical amounts of money. So, if you have millions to spare, you can become an art collector of the greats, such as Picasso, Gauguin and Matisse. The rarer the work, the more money it fetches.
This week, auction house Christie’s is putting up for sale the iconic painting Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci. Salvator Mundi, which depicts Jesus Christ as the saviour of the world, is one of fewer than 20 known paintings by Leonardo, and the only one in private hands. It re-emerged in the art market in 2005 and became the first discovery of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci since 1909.
The painting will be offered in Christie’s Evening Sale of Post-War and Contemporary Art on November 15, 2017 in Rockefeller Plaza and is estimated to cost $100 million.
Here’s a list of 10 other works that broke records:
1) Interchange, Willem de Kooning
The oil on canvas painting, Interchange, by Dutch-American abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning was sold in 2015 by the David Geffen Foundation to American investor Kenneth C Griffin for $300 million. It is the highest price for a painting till date.
2) Pendant Portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit, Rembrandt
The wedding portraits of Oopjen Coppit and Marten Soolmans was formerly owned by the Rothschild family. It is jointly owned by the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands and the Louvre in Paris, who split the cost to buy it for €160 million.
3) When Will You Marry?, Paul Gauguin
This oil painting dating back to 1892 by French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin was sold privately by the family of Swiss businessman Rudolf Staechelin to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani (belonging to Qatar’s ruling family) in February 2015 for $300 million, one of the highest prices paid for a work of art. It depicts two Tahitian women in colourful and traditional dresses, surrounded by picturesque landscape.
4) The Card Players, Paul Cézanne
The Card Players are a series of five oil paintings by French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne, which depicts a game of cards in progress. In 2011, the Royal Family of Qatar bought one of the paintings for $259 million.
5) Number 17A, Jackson Pollock
The American hedge fund billionaire Kenneth C Griffin spent $200 million on this 1948 abstract artwork, an oil on fibreboard and drip painting. The artwork featured in a 1949 Life magazine article that helped make American artist Jackson Pollock a household name.
6) Three Studies of Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon
This 1969 oil-on-canvas triptych by British figurative artist Fracis Bacon depicts fellow British artist Lucian Freud, and was sold in 2013 for $142.4 million. At the time, it was considered the highest price attained at an auction for a work of art.
7) La Rêve (The Dream), Pablo Picasso
La Rêve is considered one of the most sensual paintings by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso where he depicts his lover Marie-Therese Walter sitting on a red armchair with her eyes closed. Interestingly, in 2006, Steve Wynn, an American entrepreneur and art collector, agreed to sell the painting to American art collector Steven Cohen for $139 million. The sale was cancelled when Wynn accidentally damaged the work with his elbow.
8) Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Gustav Klimt
This controversial painting was sold by Maria Altmann, an Austrian-American Jewish refugee who fought a court battle to be proved as inheritor of this painting, which had been earlier stolen by the Nazis. The painting was bought by American art collector Ronald Lauder for $135 million.
9) Birth, Francis Newton Souza
The oil on board painting by Indian artist Souza sold for more than $4 million at a Christie’s auction in 2015. The painting was earlier sold at a Christie’s auction in 2008 for $2.5 million, considered a record price for a work of modern Indian art at that time too.
10) Untitled, VS Gaitonde
An untitled oil on canvas artwork made by Indian abstract artist VS Gaitonde in 1995 was bought by an anonymous buyer at a Christie’s, Mumbai, auction for Rs 29,30,25,000 in 2015. It is considered the most expensive Indian artwork to be sold (The Arts Trust, Artery India).
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