STARS OF THE YEAR
Francis Bacon - Triptych, 1976

Francis Bacon: "Triptych, 1976"

Claude Monet - Le bassin aux nympheas

Claude Monet: “Le bassin aux nympheas”

Kazimir Malevich: “Suprematist composition”, 1916

Kazimir Malevich: “Suprematist composition”, 1916

Francis Bacon - Triptych 1974-77

Francis Bacon: Triptych 1974-77

A rare Joseon Dynasty Korean blue and white porcelain jar

A rare Joseon Dynasty Korean blue and white porcelain jar

Attributed to the sculptor Unkei: statue of Dainichi Nyorai

Attributed to the sculptor Unkei: statue of Dainichi Nyorai

An Abbasid ka’ba key, c.1629

An Abbasid ka’ba key

Thomas Moran: Green river of Wyoming

Thomas Moran: Green river of Wyoming

Claude Monet - La Cathedrale dans le Brouillard

Claude Monet: La Cathedrale dans le Brouillard

Edouard Manet - Filette sur un banc

Edouard Manet: Filette sur un banc

ART MARKET REVIEW - YEAR 2008



A brief review of the Art market for year 2008, with the stars of the season and the main successes and disappointments

by G. Fernández - theartwolf.com

THE SUPERSTARS OF THE YEAR

Francis Bacon: “Triptych 1976”

$86,281,000 at Sotheby’s New York, May 14th 2008

The most important Bacon in private hands was the undisputed star of Sotheby’s $362 million sale of contemporary Art, and the most expensive piece of Art of the year

Claude Monet: “Le bassin aux nympheas”

£40,921,250 / $80,451,178 / €51,683,539 at Christie’s London, June 24th 2008

One of the most important works of the nympheas series, and of course one of the best works by the artist still in private hands, set a world record price for the artist at auction.

Kazimir Malevich: “Suprematist composition”, 1916

S60,002,400 at Sotheby’s New York, November 3rd 2008

This masterwork was executed in 1916, the same year that Malevich published his Suprematist Manifesto. The painting had been featured in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam for the past fifty years before being restituted to the artist’s family

Francis Bacon: “Triptych 1974-77”

£26.3 million ($51.7 million/€35.2 million) at Christie’s London, February 8th 2008

Bacon again. This work became the most expensive work of art ever sold at Christie’s in London and the most valuable Post-War and Contemporary work sold in Europe


THE SUCCESSES

A rare Joseon Dynasty Korean blue and white porcelain jar

$4,184,000 at Bonhams, San Francisco, December 9th 2008 – estimated at $200,000/300,000

Created circa 1800, this beautiful jar broke the existing auction record for a Korean blue and white porcelain jar, and demonstrated that the Art market is alive not only in Sotheby’s and Christie’s

Attributed to the sculptor Unkei: statue of Dainichi Nyorai

$12,617,000 at Christie’s New York, March 2008 – estimated at $1,500,000-2,500,000

Created circa 1190, this wood sculpture set new world auction records including record for Japanese art, and any Asian work of art sold in New York. The work was purchased by the Japanese company Mitsukoshi Co Ltd

An Abbasid ka’ba key

£9,204,500 at Sotheby’s, April 2008 – estimated at £300,000 - 500,000

This important piece, which unlocks one of the most venerated and highly honoured buildings in the world, set a new record for any Islamic Work of Art sold at auction

Thomas Moran: “Green river of Wyoming”

$17,740,000 at Sotheby’s, May 21st 2008 – estimated at $3.5-5 million

Moran at his best. This marvelous and colorful masterwork established a new auction record for a 19th century American painting

Bust of a queen or goddess, Egyptian, Ptolemaic period, c.305-30 b.c.

$1,082,500 at Sotheby’s New York, May 5th 2008 – estimated at $40,000-60,000

One of the biggest surprises of the season was this small but well carved Egyptian bronze


THE DISAPPOINTMENTS

Francis Bacon: “Study for self-portrait”, 1964

Unsold at Christie’s New York, November 12th 2008 – estimated at more than $40 million

After the great successes of the two triptychs sold in London and New York (see above), there was a lot of interest in this vibrant and intense portrait, the star of Christie’s fall sale of contemporary Art

Claude Monet: “La Cathedrale dans le Brouillard”, 1893

Unsold at Sotheby’s New York, November 3rd 2008 – estimated at $16-22 million

Monet’s “Cathedrale” series are arguably the most iconic works of the entire impressionist movement, and no impressionist collection is really complete without an example of this series

Edouard Manet: “Filette sur un banc”, 1880

Unsold at Christie’s New York, November 5th 2008 – estimated at $12-18 million

Few, very few examples of Manet’s fabulous portraiture appear in the Art market these days, and this beautiful girl is a fantastic one. It was passed at $10.5 million

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