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Ever wondered what the top 10 most expensive paintings ever sold at auction were?

Have you ever wondered how much some paintings actually get sold for at auction?  Million and millions of pounds are spent year on year by the wealthy looking for a sought out piece of artwork. So what is the most expensive piece of art?

1. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt

                                          $135,000,000


Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt (1907)

This painting was sold to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galere in New York City for $135 million in June 2006 at Christie’s, New York. The portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, the wife of a Jewish sugar industrialist is considered one of the artist’s masterpieces.  Did you know that Adele Bloch-Bauer became the only model who was painted twice by Klimt  see the other at the Klimt online gallery.

2. Garçon à la Pipe by Pablo Picasso

           ($104,100,000)

Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe) is a painting by Pablo Picasso, painted in 1905 during Picasso’s famous Rose Period, a period in which Picasso preferred cheerful orange and pink colours.  On May 5, 2004 it sold for $104.1 million at Sotheby’s auction house in New York, after having been given a pre-sale estimate of $70 million by the auction house. The record price was a bit of a surprise since the painting is not made in the Cubist style that Picasso is so renowned for. Many art critics have stated that the painting’s high sale price has much more to do with the artist’s name than with the merit or historical importance of the painting.

3.Dora Maar au Chat by Pablo Picasso

                     ($95,200,000)

Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat) is a 1941 painting by Pablo Picasso. It depicts Dora Maar, the painter’s mistress, seated on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulders. The work is painted in Picasso’s well-known cubist style. It was sold in an auction of impressionist works held at Sotheby’s on May 3, 2006 in New York to an anonymous bidder, whose final bid was $95.2 million, well exceeding the pre-auction $50 million estimates.

4. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh

                                   ($82,500,000)

This painting was sold to Japanese businessman Ryoei Sai for $82.5 million on May 15, 1990 at Christie’s, New York.  Ryoei Saito shocked the world when he announced that he wanted the van Gogh painting to be cremated with him at his death. Later he explained he was using a figure of speech: threatening to torch the oils was just an expression of intense affection for the masterpiece.  Vincent van Gogh actually painted two versions of Dr Gachet’s portrait with a slightly different color scheme. The other version is located at the Musée d’ Orsay in Paris.

5. Bal Au Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

                                     ($78,000,000)
 Bal au Moulin de la Galette, Montmartre is an 1876 painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. There are two versions of this painting with the same name: the larger one is located at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, while the smaller version was sold on May 17, 1990 for $78 million at Sotheby’s in New York to Ryoei Saito, who bought it together with the Portrait of Dr Gachet.  Bal au Moulin de la Galette was also in danger to be cremated with Saito together with the van Gogh’s painting.

6. Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens

                                 ($76,700,000)

This painting by Peter Paul Rubens, painted in 1611, is the oldest painting in this list. It was sold to Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet for
£49.5 million ($76.7 million) on July 10, 2002 at Sotheby’s auction.

7. Portrait de l’Artiste sans Barbe by Vincent van Gogh

                                  ($71, 500,000)
Portrait de l’artiste sans barbe (“Self-portrait without beard”) s one of many self-portraits by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, that he painted in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in September 1889. The painting is an oil on canvas and is 40 cm x 31 cm (16″ x 13″).Van Gogh painted this just after he had shaved himself, making this an uncommon painting since his other self-portraits show him with a beard. It becomes one of the most expensive paintings of all time when it was
sold for $71.5 million on November 19, 1998 at Christie’s, New York.

8. Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier by Paul Cézanne

                                            ($60,500,000)
Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier painting by Paul Cézanne was painted in 1893-1894. Cézanne was famous for drawing still lifes such as this, which expressed deep feelings though still based itself upon reality.  This painting was sold for $60.5 million at Sotheby’s New York on May 10, 1999 to “The Whitneys”, one of America’s wealthiest families.

9.Femme aux Bras Croisés by Pablo Picasso

                      ($55,000,000)

Painted in 1901, Femme aux Bras Croises was part of Picasso’s famous Blue Period, a dark, sad time in the artist’s life. The beautiful & various tones of blue are typical. The painting depicts a woman with her arms crossed staring at the endless nothing.  Femme aux Bras Croisés was sold for $55,000,000November 8, 2000, at Christie’s Rockefeller in New York City.

10. Irises by Vincent Van Gogh

                        ($53,900,000)

Irises is a painting by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh, painted while he was at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in the last year before his death in 1890.

In 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold when it was sold for AUS $54,000,000 to Alan Bond, but he did not have enough money to pay for it and it had to be re-sold. It is now owned by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

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Fabulous Masterpieces is the Premier UK Art Reproduction company. Curious to learn more about us? Then please visit the About Fabulous Masterpieces page. 

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George Stubbs’ Gimcrack on Newmarket Heath, with a Trainer, a Stable-Lad, and a Jockey is estimated to sell for £20 Million this July 2011 at Christie’s London

george stubbs paintings

If Stubbs’ Gimcrack painting sells for over £20 Million at Christie’s this July 5th it will make the painting, one of the five most expensive old masters ever to be auctioned off.

Gimcrack was actually a very famous and admired eighteenth century race horse. Stubbs‘ 6 foot painting shows Gimcrack twice, once in the background winning a trial and in the foreground with his trainer and jockey. The current record for a Stubbs is £10.1 Million for Stubbs’ Brood Mares and Foals, which sold at Sotheby’s in 2010. Apparently, the reason the Gimcrack painting is being sold is because the insurance costs were too high. The trustees should have commissioned Fabulous Masterpieces to hand-paint a fine art replica that they could display, and then store the original painting in their vault or with a security firm, it would have lowered costs considerably meaning they could have kept the painting.

Have a question?

We’d love to hear from you! If you would like to add something,  or ask a question concerning our art reproductions please leave a comment. To view the George Stubbs online gallery please click here.

Bye for now x

Fabulous Masterpieces is the Premier UK Art Reproduction company. Curious to learn more about us? Then please visit the About Fabulous Masterpieces page. 

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The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day by Bruegel the Elder

An unknown Bruegel masterpiece has recently been discovered in Spain.  Owners had brought the painting to Prado art restorers for restoration work when the restorer  discovered Bruegel’s signature. As they are only 40 Bruegel’s in the world, the discovery has created quite a stir in the art world. It’s also one of the largest Bruegel paintings measuring 148 cm x 271.5 cm! The Prado Museum has reportedly been negotiating to buy the painting offering up to 7 Million Euros for it.  Although, the market value of the painting is estimated at 25 million Euros.

Bruegel -The Wine of Saint Martin's Day

Bruegel - The Wine of Saint Martin's Day. Photo courtesy of Reuters

The painting by Bruegel the Elder (1525 -69), entitled The Wine of Saint Martin’s Day shows people celebrating the tasting of the first wine of the season at the festival of San Martin in the Netherlands.  Bruegel is renowned for his peasant and landscape scenes and is one of the greatest 16th century old masters.

Lover of Renaissance Paintings?

If you enjoy Renaissance paintings, please browse through the Fabulous Masterpieces’ Renaissance Paintings section.

Fabulous Masterpieces has painted a number of Bruegel fine art replicas, below is a fine art reproduction of Bruegel’s Netherlandish Proverbs, hand painted in oils onto canvas by a Fabulous Masterpieces artist.

Bruegel Netherlandish Proverbs by Fabulous Masterpieces

Bruegel Netherlandish Proverbs by Fabulous Masterpieces. Hand painted art reproduction painted onto canvas.

If you would like a quote for a Bruegel reproduction oil painting, please contact us. As with all our commissions, our Bruegel paintings are strictly made to measure, so you can choose to have your oil replica painted to the precise dimensions that is going to suit your wall space or existing frame.

Have a question?

We’d love to hear from you! If you would like to add something, share your knowledge on Bruegel or ask a question concerning our Bruegel art reproductions please leave a comment.

Bye for now x

Fabulous Masterpieces is the premier UK art reproduction company, to learn more about us, please click here.

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