Most Valuable


 

by G. Fernández - ©theartwolf.com
Not all Art masterworks are exhibited in the great museums of the world. Some of them belong to private Art collectors, one of the most expensive and exclusive "hobbies", reserved only to billionaires. This list highlights the most valuable paintings still in private hands, divided in three categories (old masters, impressionist & modern, and contemporary) The estimate of the works is based on many facts, including its provenance and sale history

Considerations
1: The list is divided into three categories: Old Masters, Impressionist and Modern, and Contemporary. Each category contains 25 paintings.
2: We have focused on those paintings owned by private individuals, so this list does not include paintings from private institutions such as the Getty Foundation, the Neue Gallery or the E. G Buhrle Foundation.

Created: May 2008. Last updated: January 2014

Go to:
Old Masters Paintings / Impressionist and Modern / Contemporary


Old masters paintings
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Image
Author / work / owner
theartwolf.com estimation
References
Rembrandt - Portrait of Jan Six

Rembrandt van Rijn
"Portrait of Jan Six", 1654
oil on canvas, 112 x 102 cm.
Six Foundation, Amsterdam

Not only the most important work by Rembrandt still in private hands, but also one of the best portraits from the Dutch Golden Era. In the 1650s Rembrandt created some of his most accomplished masterpieces, such as "Aristotle with a Bust of Homer" (1653, Metropolitan Museum) or "A Woman Bathing in a Stream" (1654, National Gallery).

$150-250 million

Some "good" Rembrandts have appeared on the market recently, including "Portrait of a Man with Arms Akimbo" (offered at TEFAF for $47 million1) or the "Minerva" (sold for $45 million)2. However, none of them are comparable to this masterpiece, valued by art dealer Otto Naumann "in excess of $150 million"3.

1. "Important Rembrandt for sale at TEFAF" - theartwolf, February 4th 2011 - read link at theartwolf
2. Artnet Magazine, March 7th, 2006
3. ArtNews, "The Most Wanted Works of Art", January 11th, 2003

Caravaggio - Conversion of Saint Paul

Caravaggio
"Conversion of Saint Paul", 1600
oil on cypress wood, 237 x 189 cm.
Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome

This work is one of two paintings by Caravaggio of the same subject, commissioned by Cardinal Cerasi. The large painting was created in 1600, the same year in which Caravaggio completed one of his undisputed masterpieces, "The Calling of Saint Matthew". Impressive in size and quality of painting, this work ranks among the most important religious scenes by Caravaggio.

$120-180 million (*)

Works by Caravaggio rarely appear on the market. This is his only "monumental" work in private hands, and prices as high as $100 million1 have been suggested for less important works by the artist.

(*) Open market valuation. However, due to Italian export restrictions the painting can not be sold to a foreign buyer.

1. For example, see "Stolen '$100 million' Caravaggio recovered by police", published at The Telegraph, 28 June 2010.

Rembrandt - self-portrait

Rembrandt van Rijn
"Self-portrait", 1659
oil on canvas, 52.7 x 42.7 cm.
Duke of Sutherland collection (on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland)

This canvas, painted when the artist was over 50 years old, is arguably one of the best self-portraits ever created, a honest, sincere and ruthless portrait of an artist who had never shown mercy to himself

$100-150 million

No other self-portrait by Rembrandt of such quality has appeared on the market in recent times. Compare with the "Jan Six' shown above. Though smaller, this canvas is also Rembrandt at his very best

Leonardo da Vinci - Salvator Mundi

Leonardo da Vinci (attributed to)
"Salvator Mundi", c-1500-1510
oil on wood, 65.6 x 45.4 cm.
Private collection, New York

Leonardo da Vinci is known to have painted a "Salvator Mundi" for King Louis XII of France. Considered lost by art experts for decades, one of its alleged "copies" was acquired by a group of art dealers in 2005, and reattributed (NOT unanimously) to Leonardo. In late 2011, this work was included in the exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan" at the National Gallery of London.

$80-150 million

How much are collectors willing to pay for a painting whose attribution is still questionable? Its owners, according to several sources, are seeking $200 million1 (a conservative sum if the painting was unanimously accepted). The Dallas Museum of Art tried to acquire the work in late 2012, but its offer (undisclosed) was rejected.2

1. "Potential buyers were being asked about $200 million for Salvator Mundi" - Bloomberg, July 9th, 2011
2. "Leonardo is not going to Dallas" - ArtsJournal, December 20th, 2012

Holbein - Darmstadt Madonna

Hans Holbein the Younger
"The Madonna With the Family of Mayor Meyer (The Darmstadt Madonna)", c.1525-8
Oil on panel, 146.5 x 102 cm.
Reinhold Würth collection, Germany

This monumental painted is arguably the most important religious scene ever created by Holbein. The work was commissioned by the Bürgermeister of Basel Jakob Meyer zum Hasen, who opposed the Reformation

$80-140 million (*)

Sold for more than $70 million at a private sale in Germany in 2011. Some sources said that its value on the open market could be "in excess of €100 million"1.

(*) Open market valuation. However, due to German export restrictions the painting can not be sold to a foreign buyer.

1. "I could probably have sold it for more than 100 million euros if it wasn’t barred from export" - Bloomberg, July 14th, 2011

Velázquez - Prince Baltasar Carlos on horseback

Diego Velázquez
"Prince Baltasar Carlos on horseback", 1636
oil on canvas, 144 x 91 cm.
Duke of Westminster collection

Diego Velázquez´s "Prince Baltasar Carlos on horseback" has all the magnificence you can expect in a great baroque painting. It is a very good Velázquez, arguably his only masterpiece still in private hands, and it could be the centerpiece of any major museum able to persuade the Duke of Westminster to sell it

$80-120 million

The only "great" Velázquez sold in "recent" times is "Juan de Pareja", bought by the Metropolitan in 1971 for $5.5 million1, then the most valuable painting sold at auction. This work is much more important. However, some doubts concerning to the attribution of the work2 have affected to its previous estimation ($100 - 150 million)

1. Several sources. For example, see "Sunday Dialogue: What Is That Art Worth?" at the New York Times, published January 5, 2013
2. For example, read "Complete Studies on Velázquez" by Enriquetta Harris, pages 127-128

Caravaggio - The Lute player

Caravaggio - The Lute player

Caravaggio
"The Lute player", c.1596
oil on canvas, 100 x 126.5 cm.
Wildenstein collection
"Apollo the Lute player", c.1596
oil on canvas, 96 x 121 cm.
Private collection (previously at Badminton House, Gloucestershire)

"The Lute player" is one of the most famous compositions by Caravaggio. Three versions of the painting exist, the two displayed here and a third version at the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg. They are a stunning testament of Caravaggio's use of the 'chiaroscuro'. The androgynous young man is also a typical figure in Caravaggio's oeuvre, as well as the still life elements on the table, specially at the Badminton version

$75-100 million (each)

When the second version was displayed at the Salander Gallery in 2007, dealer Lawrence Salander (later filed for bankruptcy) said that the painting was "the most important painting ever sold"1 (false), and that $100 million would be "cheap"1 (debatable). Other sources point to a price of £50 million2. This painting was sold at Sotheby's for just $110,000 in 2001, when it was considered to be a "copy after Caravaggio". There are still some doubts concerning to the attribution of the second painting, so the estimation for it may be lower

1. New York Sun, published October 16th, 2007
2. "Arts sales: The star show that never was" - The Telegraph, published November 27th, 2007

Botticelli - Story of Nastagio degli Onesti

Sandro Botticelli
"The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti (forth episode)", c.1483
tempera on panel, 83 x 142 cm.
Private collection, Florence

The last panel of this important series by Botticelli. The three other panels are exhibited in the Prado Museum, Madrid.

$70-100 million (*)

No other Botticelli of such quality has appeared on the market in recent times.

(*) Open market valuation. However, due to Italian export restrictions the painting can not be sold to a foreign buyer.

Titian - Portrait of a man

Titian
"Portrait of a young man", c.1515-20
oil on canvas, 92.7 x 70.7 cm.
Earl of Halifax collection (on loan to the National Gallery, London)

An early masterpiece by Titian, arguably his best portrait still in private hands. The work shows the influence of Giorgione, and has a fabulous provenance

$70-90 million

The painting has been for sale for an asking price of £50-55 million1. Another masterful portrait by Titian ("Alfonso d'Avalos") was bought by the Getty Museum for $70 million2 (not confirmed) in 2004

1. "Gallery laughs last at Titian's return" - The Guardian, published on February 11, 2009
2. "The $70 million soldier" - The Telegraph, published on February 23, 2004

Titian - Laura Dianti

Titian
"Portrait of Laura Dianti", c.1520-25
oil on canvas, 119 x 93 cm.
H. Kisters Collection, Switzerland

One of the most important early portraits by Titian, which formed a pair with the lost "Portrait of Alfonso I d'Este". Several copies of this work exist, including those at the Galleria Estense and the Galleria Borghese.

$70-90 million

Comparable to the "Portrait of a young man" (see above)

Rembrandt - Judas returning the 30 pieces of silver

Rembrandt van Rijn
"Judas returning the 30 pieces of silver", 1629
oil on canvas, 79 x 102.3 cm.
Marquess of Normanby collection

An early masterwork by Rembrandt, in which the artist already shows his masterful use of the light / shadow and his personal use of the perspective as a narrative tool

$70-90 million

Auction record for a religious scene by Rembrandt is $25.8 million ("Saint James the Greater", in 20071) but this work is much better

1. Sotheby's New York, January 25th 2007, lot 74

Holbein - Erasmus

Hans Holbein the Younger
"Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam", 1523
oil and tempera on panel, 76 × 51 cm
Private collection, Penrhyn Castle, Wales

Holbein painted three portraits of Erasmus, of which this version is the largest and the most elaborate. One of the most famous paintings by an old master still in private hands, this work is a masterpiece of Renaissance portraiture

$60-90 million

Compare with the "Darmstadt Madonna" listed above. Though not as monumental, this is another highly important work by Holbein, and one of the most famous portraits of Erasmus.

Titian - The Three Ages of man

Titian
"The Three Ages of man", ca. 1512-14
oil on canvas, 90 x 150.7 cm.
Duke of Sutherland collection (on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland)

An early masterpiece by Titian, showing the influence of Giorgione and Giovanni Bellini.

$60-90 million

More important than the "Venus Anadyomene", bought from the same collection for £11 million (narket value of around £20 million1), but not as great as the "Diana and Actaeon" sold for £50 million in 20092.

1. "Titian bought for nation" - BBC News, published February 26th 2003
2. "Titian’s 'Diana and Callisto' acquired for the UK" - read link at theartwolf

Caravaggio - Maffeo Barberini

Caravaggio
"Portrait of Maffeo Barberini", c.1598
oil on canvas, 124 x 90 cm.
Private collection, Florence

One of the few portraits by Caravaggio, depicting a member of the powerful Florentine Barberini family. Caravaggio was only 27 years old when he painted this work, but he already shows a dramatic mastery of chiaroscuro.

$60-90 million (*)

A disputed "Saint Augustine" by the artist was valued at £60 million in 20111

(*) Open market valuation. However, due to Italian export restrictions the painting can not be sold to a foreign buyer.

1. "Unknown Caravaggio painting unearthed in Britain" - Published: The Guardian, June 19th 2011

Caravaggio - Sacrifice of Isaac

Caravaggio
"Sacrifice of Isaac", c.1598
oil on canvas, 116 x 173 cm.
Barbara Piasecka Johnson collection

Painted one year before Caravaggio's great masterpiece "The calling of Saint Matthew", this work encompasses all the mastery of the great genious of the early Baroque painting

$60-90 million

Arguably the best painting by Caravaggio that could be sold on the open market, some doubts about its attribution could affect to its hypothetical selling price. Otherwise, $100 million would be a conservative estimation. A comparable work was valued at £70 million in 20061

1. "Caravaggio painting found in an attic now fully restored and worth £70m" - Published: Daily Mail, October 18th, 2006

Rembrandt - Man in Oriental Costume

Rembrandt van Rijn
"Man in Oriental Costume (a.k.a. The King Uzziah Stricken with Leprosy)", 1639
oil on panel, 102.8 x 78.8 cm.
Duke of Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth

A famous work by the Dutch master, and one of the jewels of Chatsworth house's art collection. The identification of the man in the painting has been discussed for decades.

$60-90 million

The Chatsworth provenance would certainly increase the value of this important work. Another work by the collection (Raphael's "Head of a young Apostle") was sold for £29,7 million in 20121 against a pre-sale estimate of just £10-15 million

1. "Raphael drawing breaks records at Sotheby's" - read link at theartwolf

Raphael - Bridgewater madonna

Raphael
"Bridgewater madonna", c.1507
oil on canvas, 82 x 57 cm.
Duke of Sutherland collection (on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland)

Raphael's finest madonnas, such as this, rank among the most recognizable images of the Italian Renaissance. The simple but strong composition and the graceful face of the virgin are stunning

$60-80 million

A smaller madonna by Raphael, the "Madonna of the pinks", was acquired by the UK in 2004 for £22 million1 (market price: around £35 million). Auction record for Raphael is $47.9 million for the drawing "Head of a muse"2, in December 2009

1. "A lot of pounds for a few pinks" - Published: The Telegraph, October 24th 2005
2. "Important drawing by Raphael sold for £29 million" - read link at theartwolf

Raphael - The Holy Family with a Palm Tree

Raphael
"The Holy Family with a Palm Tree", c.1506
oil on canvas, diameter: 101 cm.
Duke of Sutherland collection (on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland)

Not as famous as the previous work, this beautiful tondo is also part of the fabulous collection of the Duke of Sutherland. The figures and the landscape show the influence of Leonardo da Vinci

$60-80 million

See previous work.

Velázquez - Isabel de Borbón

Diego Velázquez
"Isabel de Borbón", 1631-1632
oil on canvas, 207 x 119 cm.
Private collection, New York

This imposing work -one of the three portraits of the Queen painted by Velázquez- was created after the artist's return from his first trip to Italy, and it is considered one of his first "mature" works.

$60-80 million

It is hard to estimate the value of a great Velázquez. When the "Portrait of a man" from the Metropolitan was finally attributed to the master, some experts valued it at $40 million. This, of course, is a much more important work.

Giotto - Virgin and Child - Private Collection

Giotto di Bondone
"Virgin and Child with Saints and Allegorical Figures", c.1315-20
Tempera and gold on panel
New York, private collection

Giotto is the most important artist of the Italian Trecento, and this beautiful panel is his only work in private hands. In 2012, it was included in the exhibition "Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance" at the Getty Museum

$50-75 million

The only comparable work that has been sold in recent times is the "Stoclet Madonna" by Duccio da Buonisegna, acquired by the Metropolitan Museum in 2004 for $45 million1 (around $55 million now)

1. "Inside the Met's Duccio deal" - Artnet Magazine, December 21st, 2004

J.M.W. Turner - Seascape, Folkestone

Joseph Mallord William Turner
"Seascape, Folkestone", 1845
oil on canvas, 88.3 x 117.5 cm.
New York, private collection

Turner at his best. The greatest work by Turner in private hands is an audacious, almost abstract masterpiece

$50-75 million

Sold for £7.3 million in 1984 (then an auction record for any painting) Getty Museum bought a seascape by Turner for $16 million in 19931, and paid £29.7 million ($44 million) for "Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino", at Sotheby's London, July 20102.

1. "Getty's Turner Seascape Is Making Waves" - L.A. Times, published February 24th, 1993
2. "Getty Museum acquires JMW. Turner’s "Modern Rome" - read link at theartwolf

El Greco - Pietá

El Greco
"Pietá", c.1587-97
oil on canvas, 120 x 145 cm.
Niarchos Collection

By far the most important work by the artist in private hands. The use of strong colors relate this painting to the expressionist masterpieces of the early 20th century.

$50-75 million

Sold for $400,000 in 19551. No other painting by the artist of such importance has appeared on the market in recent times. Could be compared to Rubens's "Massacre of Innocents", sold for £49.5 million in 20022

1. ABC, published February 4th, 1955
2. "A Rubens Brings $76.7 Million at London Auction", NY Times, July 11th, 2002

Rembrandt - Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet

Rembrandt van Rijn
"Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet", 1657
oil on canvas, 126 x 98.5 cm.
Private collection, Penrhyn Castle, Wales

Self-confident in her authoritative pose, this powerful portrait is a stunning example of Rembrandt's late portraits. Also, it has a fabulous provenance, being part of a private collection in the United Kingdom for over a century

$50-75 million

The painting has been "unofficially" at the market, asking price £40 million1. Rijksmuseum Amsterdam tried to acquire it, but finally refused even though it had raised almost €34 million in 20082

1. "The national art treasures Britain cannot afford to lose" - The Telegraph, published February 14th, 2009
2. "Rijksmuseum Decides Against Buying Pricey Rembrandt Portrait" - CultureGrrl, published March 26, 2008

Rembrandt - The Standard-Bearer

Rembrandt van Rijn
"The Standard-Bearer", 1636
oil on canvas, 118.8 x 96.8 cm.
Elie de Rothschild collection, Paris

During the decade of the 1630s, Rembrandt created several important portraits, sometimes with the assistant of his workshop. "The Standard-Bearer" ranks among the finest.

$50-75 million

A very strong Rembrandt. "Minerva", a painting created one year before this work, was sold in the mid-2000s for a rumoured $45 million1. This is a more famous painting

1. Artnet Magazine, March 7th, 2006

Impressionist and modern
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Image
Author / work / owner
theartwolf.com estimation
References
Paul Cézanne - The Card Players

Paul Cézanne
"The Card Players", 1892-93
oil on canvas, 97 × 130 cm.
Private collection, Qatar

This is the last version of this famous composition by Paul Cézanne. The fabulous psychological intensity in the faces of the players make this painting a masterpiece of post-impressionist art

$150-250 million

Unlike Picasso or Van Gogh, Cézanne is an artist whose great works appear very rarely on the art market. "Card players" is widely considered the best Cézanne in private hands. Reportedly sold to Qatar for $250 million in 20111.

1. Several sources, including Forbes, The New York Post and Daily Mail

Pablo Picasso - Les noces de Pierrette

Pablo Picasso
"Les noces de Pierrette", 1905
oil on canvas, 115 x 195 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Private collection, Japan

The "Sleeping Beauty" of the art market, stored like a fine wine in a bank's vault since the early 90s. Arguably the best Picasso still in private hands, this painting is masterful in all senses, and concentrates all the magic, mystery and melancholy of Picasso's Blue and Pink periods

$120-160 million

Sold for $51.67 million in Paris, 19891. Picasso's masterpieces have considerably increased their values: "Garçon a la pipe" was sold for $104 million in 2004 (world auction record), and "The dream" (see below) was about sold for a spectacular $155 million in 2013

1. "Picasso Work Sets Record at $48.9 Million" - Los Angeles Times, published December 1st, 1989

Vincent van Gogh - Portrait of Doctor Gachet

Vincent van Gogh
"Portrait of Doctor Gachet", 1890
oil on canvas, 68 x 57 cm.
Private collection

The story about this famous and brilliant work resumes by itself the "Japanese buyer boom" of the late 80s and early 90s. The whereabouts of the painting are now unknown. Some sources places it in Europe, waiting for its return to the Art market

$120-160 million

Sold for $82.5 million in 1990 (then an auction record, equivalent to almost $130 million now) Re-sold in the late 90s for an unknown price (some sources said $90 million in 1997) to an anonymous private collector. Possibly re-sold for $100 million1 some years later.

1. "Dr. Gachet Sighting: It WAS Flöttl!" - published by CultureGrrl at ArtsJournal, January 26th 2007

Pablo Picasso - La rêve (the dream)

Pablo Picasso
"La rêve (the dream)", 1932
oil on canvas, 130 x 97 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Steven Cohen collection

This sensual work is the best "mature" portrait by Picasso still in private hands, depicting his lover Marie-Therese Walter sitting on a red armchair with her eyes closed

$100-150 million

Sold for $48.4 million in New York, 1997. Almost sold privately for $139 million in 2006, but it was damaged by its previous owner (Steve Wynn) before the sale1. Sold in 2013 for $155 million2.

1. "Picasso's The Dream damaged by its owner" - read link at theartwolf
2. "Steven Cohen buys Picasso's 'Le Rêve' for $155 million" - read link at theartwolf

Munch - The Scream

Edvard Munch
"The Scream", 1895
Pastel on board, 79 x 59 cm.
Leon Black Collection

"The Scream" is one of the most famous paintings in the world. Munch created four versions of this work (one tempera, two pastels and a litograph) and this version is the only one in private hands.

$100-140 million

Sold for $119,9 million in 2012, then a world record for any painting at auction1. This work is a true icon, an extremely desirable painting. However, it is not the "prime" version (which can be easily valued at over $200 million)

1. "Edvard Munch’s 'The Scream' sold for $120 million at Sotheby's" - read link at theartwolf

Vincent van Gogh - Self-portrait with bandaged ear

Vincent van Gogh
"Self-portrait with bandaged ear" , 1889
oil on canvas, 60.5 x 50 cm.
Niarchos collection

Van Gogh's self portraits rank among the most famous images in the history of Western painting. This highly important work was previously in the collection of Leigh B. Block in Chicago

$100-140 million

Quietly purchased by the Niarchos family for a rumoured price of $80/90 million in early 90s1. A less important self-portrait by Van Gogh was sold for $71.5 million in 19982

1. Artnet Magazine, published November 13th 1998
2. Christie's New York, November 19th 1998

Claude Monet - Le bassin aux nympheas, reflets du sauce no color reproductions available

Claude Monet
"Le bassin aux nymphéas, reflets du saule (reflections of the weeping willow over the water lilies pond)", c.1920-26
oil on canvas, 200 x 425 cm.
Private collection

Hidden in a private collection for decades, this monumental canvas is the most important Monet in private hands

$100-140 million

Auction record for Monet is $80.6 million for a smaller (100-200 cm.) "nympheas" canvas (see below). This is the only "monumental" canvas of the nympheas series still in private hands1.

1. D. Wildenstein: Claude Monet, Catalogue (1985). Vol. IV, p.320-321

Pablo Picasso - Garçon a la pipe

Pablo Picasso
"Garçon a la pipe", 1904
oil on canvas, 100 x 81.3 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Private collection

The sale of this young smoker was a milestone in the Art auctions world, being the first painting that reached the $100 million barrier

$100-125 million

Sold for $104.1 million in New York, 2004 (then an auction record - pre-sale estimate of around $70 million)1

1. Sotheby's New York, May 5th 2004, lot 7

Pierre Auguste Renoir - Dance at le Moulin de la Gallette

Pierre Auguste Renoir
"Dance at le Moulin de la Gallette", 1876
oil on canvas, 78 x 114 cm.
Private collection, Europe

Although it is only the smaller version of the famous painting exhibited at the Orsay, a lot of collectors would kill to be the owner of "the most beautiful painting of the XIX", in the words of some art critics

$90-120 million

Sold for $78.1 million in 19901. Resold for a lower price in a private sale, c.19982

1. Sotheby's New York, May 17, 1990
2. Artnet Magazine, published November 4th 1998

Wassily Kandinsky - Composition V

Wassily Kandinsky
"Composition V", 1911
oil on canvas, 190 x 275 cm.
Ronald Lauder collection

One of the most important paintings still in private hands. With its impressive scale and its rich composition, the canvas is a quintessence of early abstraction.

$80-120 million

Sold for $40 - 50 million in 1998 at a private sale1. No other Kandinsky of such importance has been sold in recent times

1. Artnet Magazine, published November 4th 1998

Pablo Picasso: 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust'

Pablo Picasso
"Nude, Green Leaves and Bust", 1932
oil on canvas, 162 x 132 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Private collection

This sensual and colorful masterpiece by Picasso is the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. The work had been never exhibited in public since 1961

$90-110 million

Sold for $106.5 million in New York, May 2010 (then an auction record for a work of art)1

1. "Picasso's 'Nude, Green Leaves and Bust' sold for $106.5 million" - read link at theartwolf

Pablo Picasso - Yo, Picasso

Pablo Picasso
"Yo, Picasso", 1901
oil on canvas, 73,5 x 60,5 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Niarchos collection

This is one of the first self-portraits by Picasso, painted at the dawn of the famous Blue Period, when the artist was just nineteen years old.

$75-100 million

Sold for $47.8 million in New York, 19891, then one of the highest prices ever paid for a work of art. Though not a masterpiece, it is an iconic painting

1. Sotheby's New York, May 9th 1989

Pablo Picasso - Fillette nue au panier de fleurs

Pablo Picasso
"Fillette nue au panier de fleurs", 1905
oil on canvas, 155 x 66 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Private collection, New York

An important example from Picasso's famous "Rose Period". The vertical format is similar to that used in the famous "Boy Leading a Horse" from the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

$75-100 million

Compare to the $104.1 million "Garçon a la pipe" (see above). Maybe not as painterly as the smoking boy, but also a highly coveted work.

Paul Cézanne - Mont Sainte-Victoire vu des Lauves

Paul Cézanne
"Le Mont Sainte-Victoire vu des Lauves", 1904
oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm.
Private collection

This is one of the best depictions of the Mount Sainte-Victoire painted by Cézanne, similar to the one selected by theartwolf.com as one of the 50 masterworks of painting

$75-100 million

"La Montagne Sainte Victoire", a less developed and less important depiction of the same Mount, was sold at Phillips for $38.1 million in 20011. This canvas, however, is a supreme masterpiece, one of the best examples in the whole series.

1. Phillips De Pury New York, May 7th 2001, lot 5

Klimt - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Gustav Klimt
"Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II", 1912
oil on canvas, 190 x 120 cm.
Private collection

Second version of the more famous "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I". This appealing canvas was the star lot in a highly succesful auction in which four works by Klimt -including this- totalled a stunning $192 million

$75-100 million

Sold for $88 million in New York, 20061. The "Adele Bloch-Bauer I" (now at the Neue Galerie in New York) sold for $135 million earlier that year.

1. Christie's New York, November 8th 2006, lot 5

Pablo Picasso - Femme Assise dans un Jardin

Pablo Picasso
"Femme Assise dans un Jardin", 1938
oil on canvas, 130-97 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Private collection

This brightly colored canvas was painted in a single day, when the artist was 57 years old, and depicts his mistress Dora Maar

$75-95 million

Sold for $49.5 million in New York, 19991, then the second highest price ever paid for a Picasso. Comparable to the "Dora Maar au chat" sold for $95 million in 2006 (see comments below)

1. Sotheby's New York, November 10th 1999

Pablo Picasso - Dora Maar au chat

Pablo Picasso
"Dora Maar au chat", 1941
oil on canvas, 130 x 97 cm.
image: © Estate of Pablo Picasso/ ARS
Private collection (Boris Ivanishvili?)

Dora Maar (1907-1997) met Picasso in 1930, and their relationship lasted until 1946. A native from Paris, Maar was one of Picasso's favourite models

$75-95 million

Sold for $95.2 million in New York, 20061. As said before, art market for modern paintings is somewhat 'colder' now, and this painting is not a masterpiece, though it is certainly a stunning composition

1. Sotheby's New York, May 3rd 2006

Van Gogh - Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe

Vincent van Gogh
"Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe", 1889
oil on canvas, 40 x 31 cm.
Private collection

This is the last self-portrait Van Gogh ever painted, and, along with the "Self-portrait with bandaged ear" (see above), the only one still in private hands. Enough to make it one of the most coveted paintings, though it is really not a masterwork

$75-95 million

Sold for $71.5 million in New York, 19981, a remarkable price given the economical situation of that time.

1. Christie's New York, November 19th 1998

Van Gogh - Wheat Field with Cypresses

Vincent van Gogh
"Wheat Field with Cypresses", 1889
oil on canvas, 51.5 x 65 cm
Private collection (Niarchos?)

"Wheat field with cypresses" series are among the most famous works by Van Gogh, who considered them among his finest works. The series consists of three paintings, being this work the only one in private hands

$65-90 million

The largest painting in the series was sold privately in 1993 for $57 million1 (more than $90 million now) and later donated to the Metropolitan Museum. This work is smaller and a bit sketchier, but still a highly coveted painting.

1. "Annenberg Donates A van Gogh to the Met" - New York Times, published May 25th 1993

Paul Gauguin - Mata Mua

Paul Gauguin
"Mata Mua (In Olden Times)", 1892
oil on canvas, 91 x 69 cm.
Collection Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza - on deposit at Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

One of the handful of masterpieces by the artist still in private hands, this symbol-filled painting was painted one year after Gauguin's arrival in Tahiti.

$60-90 million

Sold for $24.2 million in 19891, then an auction record for the artist. Gauguin is still not an auction "superstar" like Van Gogh (auction record is $40.3 million for "L'homme à la hache", in 20062) but prices for post-impressionist masterpieces have increased, and this is a "supreme" work.

1. Sotheby's New York, May 10th 1989
2. "Gauguin's 'L'hômme à la hâche' realizes a world auction record" - read link at theartwolf

Paul Gauguin - Riders on the beach

Paul Gauguin
"Riders on the beach", 1902
oil on canvas, 73 x 92 cm.
Niarchos collection

The whole picture is filled with the melancholic taste of a farewell, predicting the artist's own death a few months later. This fancy coloured work is Gauguin's pictorial testament and an eloquent ode to the Polynesia

$60-90 million

See previous work. In addition to "L'homme à la hache", other two Tahitian scenes sold for $39.2 million in 2004 and 20071. Widely exhibited and published, this is a much more important painting

1. "Paul Gauguin’s Te Poipoi (The Morning) sells for $39,241,000" - read link at theartwolf

Paul Gauguin - Mata Mua

Paul Gauguin
"Annah the Javanese (The Child-woman Judith Is Not Yet Breached)", 1894
oil on canvas, 116 cm × 81 cm.
Private collection

"Annah the Javanese" is not only one of the most important paintings created by Gauguin after his return from Tahití in 1894, but also one of the most polemic as well, depicting Gauguin's 13 year old lover and model.

$60-90 million

See considerations of the previous work. "Annah the Javanese" is a painting of tremendous historical importance, but its controversial subject could affect to its hypothetical selling price.

Vincent van Gogh - The Town Hall at Auvers

Vincent van Gogh
"The Town Hall at Auvers", 1890
oil on canvas, 72 x 93 cm
Private collection

This painting, sometimes called "Auvers Town Hall on 14 July 1890", is one of the most original late compositions by Van Gogh, painted a few days before his suicide.

$60-90 million

Late works by Van Gogh are very sought-after. "Le jardin à Auvers" -created in the same month- was sold for $10 million in 1992, but it could not be exported from France, and its value on the open marked was estimated at "up to $50 million"1.

1. "Price could have been up to five times higher..." - Los Angeles Times, published December 9th 1992

Cézanne - Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier

Paul Cézanne
"Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier", 1893-1894
oil on canvas, 60 x 73 cm
Private collection

Paul Cézanne is the one of the best still life painters of all time, and this beautiful work is arguably the best still life by the artist still in private hands

$60-90 million

Sold for $60,502,500 in 19991. Still lifes by Cézanne are very sought-after. A smaller and less important "Les pommes" was sold for $41,6 million in 20132.

1. Sotheby's New York , May 10th 1999
2. "Cézanne leads the Impressionist and Modern Art auctions, May 2013" - read link at theartwolf

Claude Monet - Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas

Claude Monet
"Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas", 1919
oil on canvas, 100.4 × 201 cm.
Private collection

One of the best examples of the large-scale "Nymphéas" series

$65-85 million

Sold for £40.9 million ($80.5 million) in 2008, an auction record for Monet1

1. "Monet masterpiece sells for £41 million / $80.5 million" - read link at theartwolf


Contemporary
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Image
Author / work / owner
theartwolf.com estimation
References
Willem de Kooning - Woman III

Willem de Kooning
"Woman III", 1951
oil on canvas, 171 x 121 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Steve Cohen collection

This painting is the only "Woman" by Willem de Kooning still in private hands. One of this "women" has been chosen by theartwolf.com as one of the 50 masterworks of the history of painting

$130-170 million

Sold for $137.5 million at a private sale, 20061. By far the most important work by the artist in private hands.

1. "Willem de Kooning's Woman III, sold for $137.5 million" - read link at theartwolf

Jackson Pollock - Number 5 A

Jackson Pollock
"Number 5", 1948
oil on canvas, 243.8 x 121.9 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Private collection, USA

Another stunning drip by Pollock, done on a sheet of fiberboard with brown and yellow paint over it

$130-170 million

Sold for $140 million at a private sale, 20061, which is the second highest price ever paid for a contemporary painting. The buyer was rumoured to be Mexican businessman David Martínez, though he later denied it2

1. "Pollock's Number 5, 1948, sold for $140 million" - read link at theartwolf
2. For example, read article by Carol Vogel at The New York Times, published November 18th 2006

Francis Bacon - Three Studies of Lucian Freud

Francis Bacon
"Three Studies of Lucian Freud", 1969
oil on canvas, 198 x 442.5 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Elaine Wynn collection

This great triptych by Bacon is right now the most expensive painting ever auctioned

$120-150 million

Sold for $142,4 million in November 20131, an auction record for any work of art.

1. Record-breaking Bacon, Christie's record-breaking sale - read link at theartwolf

Andy Warhol - Mao

Andy Warhol
"Mao", 1972
oil on canvas, 448 x 346.7 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd
Private collection

This giant canvas is one of the largest portraits of the communist leader painted by the Pop-Art icon, Andy Warhol

$80-120 million

The painting is (or was) reportedly for sale, asking price: $120 million1. Highest price ever paid for a Warhol are $105 million for "Silver Car Crash" and $100 million for "Eight Elvises" (see below).

1. "Warhol `Mao' May Sell for Record $120 Million, Christie's Says", published by Bloomberg, May 6th 2008

Jasper Johns - Diver

Jasper Johns
"Flag", 1958
oil on canvas
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Collection Steven Cohen

"Flags" are Jasper Johns most famous works. The artist painted his first American flag in 1954–55, a work now at the MoMA.

$80-120 million

Reportedly sold to Steven Cohen in 2010 for $110 million1. Johns early "Flags" are very coveted: in 1980, the Whitney Museum bought "Three Flags" (1958) for the then highest price ever paid for the work of a living artist2.

1. For example, read "Planting a Johns ‘Flag’ in a Private Collection" by Carol Vogel at The New York Times, published November 18th 2006
2. "The Gray Areas of Jasper Johns", article by Carol Vogel at The New York Times, published February 3rd 2008

Francis Bacon - Triptych, May-June 1973

Francis Bacon
"Triptych, May-June 1973", 1973
oil on canvas, 198-442.5 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Esther Grether collection, Switzerland

This monumental triptych (one of the three "Black Tryptichs" by Bacon) was created in memory of Bacon's lover, George Dyer

$85-110 million

Compare with "Triptych, 1976" (see above). This triptych was sold in 1989 for $6.3 million1, then an auction record for Bacon.

1. "Francis Bacon claims his place at the top of the market", The Art Newspaper, August 29th 2008

Francis bacon - Triptych, 1976

Francis Bacon
"Triptych, 1976", 1976
oil on canvas, 198-442.5 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Private collection (Roman Abrahamovich?)

One of the best works by Bacon in private hands, it draws on Ancient Greek mythology to express Bacon's personal tragedy

$85-110 million

Sold for $86.3 million in New York, May 20081. This stunning work is a true masterpiece

1. Sotheby's New York, Contemporary Art Evening Auction, May 14th 2008, lot 33.

Andy Warhol - Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)

Andy Warhol
"Silver Car Crash [Double Disaster]", 1962
266,7 x 417 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
private collection

One of the largest works from Warhol's seminal "Death and Disaster" series.

$80-110 million

Sold for $105,4 million in November 20131. "Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)" was sold for $71.7 million in 20072, an auction record for Warhol.

1. "Warhol's 'Silver Car Crash' sells for $105M at Sotheby's" - read link at theartwolf
2. "Andy Warhol’s epic "Green Car Crash" sells for $71.7 million." - read link at theartwolf

Jasper Johns - Diver

Jasper Johns
"Diver", 1962
oil on canvas, 228.6-431.8 cm
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Collection Norman and Irma Braman

One of the largest and most important works by Johns, measuring over 4 meters in length

$80-100 million

Sold for just $4.2 million in 19881 (then an auction record for Johns, now a bargain) It is a more important work than "False start", which was sold for $80 million in 2006 (see below)

1. "Sale Mark Set for Work of Living Artist", published by Suzanne Muchnic, Los Angeles Times, May 4th 1988

Andy Warhol - Eight Elvises

Andy Warhol
"Eight Elvises", 1963
oil on canvas
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Private collection

An icon of the Pop Art, Warhol used to create several versions of his works. Nevertheless, "Eight Elvises" is an unique composition

$80-100 million

Sold privately for $100 million in 20081 (previously at the Annibale Berlingieri collection)

1. For example, read "The $100m Warhol", published by Andrew Johnson at The Independent, November 29th 2009

Mark Rotho - White center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose

Mark Rothko
"White center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)", 1950
oil on canvas, 213.4 x 141 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Al-Thani Family Collection, Qatar

Rothko at his best, this work was created in 1950, a pivotal year in the artist's career.

$75-100 million

Sold for $72.8 million in 20071, then an auction record for Rothko. Though not the most expensive, this work is arguably the most important Rothko in private hands

1. Sotheby's New York, Contemporary Art Evening Sale, May 15th 2007, lot 31.

Andy Warhol - 200 soup cans (Campbell's Soup)

Andy Warhol
"200 soup cans (Campbell's Soup)", 1962
oil on canvas, 182.9 x 254.6 cm
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
John and Kimiko Powers collection

The largest work of Warhol's iconic "Campbell's Soup" series

$70-100 million

"200 one dollar bills" was sold for $43.8 million in 20091, but works from "Campell's Soup Cans" are much more famous and coveted. Auction record for Warhol is $105 million ("Silver Car Crash", 2013)

1. "Warhol artwork sells for $43.8m", BBC News, published November 12th 2009

Andy Warhol - One Hundred and Fifty Black/White/Grey Marilyns

Andy Warhol
"One Hundred and Fifty Black/White/Grey Marilyns", 1980
Acrylic on canvas, aprox. 10 meters long
Private Collection

One of the largest paintings ever created by Andy Warhol

$70-100 million

Reportedly for sale at Art Basel 2011, priced at $80 million, and withdrawn despite a serious offer1

1. Scott Reyburn at Bloomberg, published June 15th 2011.

Mark Rotho - Orange, Red, Yellow

Mark Rothko
"Orange, Red, Yellow", 1961
oil on canvas, 236.2 cm × 206.4 cm
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Private collection

The 1961 painting was the centerpiece of the Pincus Collection, and is currently the most expensive Rothko ever sold at auction

$75-95 million

Sold for $86.9 million in 20121, still an auction record for Rothko.

1. "Rothko's "Orange, Red, Yellow" sells for $86,9 million" - read link at theartwolf

Jasper Johns - False start

Jasper Johns
"False start", 1959
oil on canvas, 170.8 x 137.2 cm
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Steve Cohen collection

Another classic work by Johns, and one of the most expensive paintings by a living artist

$70-90 million

Sold privately for $80 million in 20061

1. For example, read article by Carol Vogel at The New York Times, published October 12th 2006

Willem de Kooning - Interchange

Willem de Kooning
"Interchange", 1955
oil on canvas, 200.7-175.7 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
David Geffen collection

This 200.7 x 175.3 cm. canvas is arguably the greatest "classic" work by de Kooning in private hands, even better than the "Police Gazette" purchased by Mr. Cohen for $63 million in 2006

$65-85 million

Sold for $20.6 million in 19891 (then an auction record for a contemporary painting)

1. "De Kooning Work Sells for Record $20.6 Million", published by Suzanne Muchnic, Los Angeles Times, November 9th 1989

Andy Warhol - Shot Marilyns

Andy Warhol
"Shot Marilyns", 1964
Five oil on canvas, each 101.6 x 101.6 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
'Turquoise Marilyn' at S. Cohen Collection
'Red Marilyn' at Niarchos Collection
'Blue Marilyn' at Peter Brant Collection (another one in a private collection)
'Orange Marilyn' at S. I. Newhouse Collection

Warhol's portraits of Marilyn Monroe rank among the most iconic artworks ever created.

$65-85 million (each)

In 1989, the "Red" canvas was sold for $4.1 million1. 9 years later, the "Orange" painting was sold for $17.3 million2. And nine years later, the "Turquoise" canvas (the only one that was not shot by Dorothy Podber) was sold for a rumoured $80 million3.

1. "A Warhol 'Red Marilyn' Sets Record at Christie's", published by Rita Reif, The New York Times, May 4th 1989
2. "$17-million marilyn", Walter Robinson, Artnet, May 15th 1998
3. "Pop Art round-up: what and where to buy", The Telegraph, May 26th 2010

Jasper Johns - Target with Plaster Casts

Jasper Johns
"Target with Plaster Casts", 1955
oil on canvas, 129.5 x 111.8 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
David Geffen Collection

A pivotal work by Johns. Along with "Flag" and "Target with Four Faces" (both at the MOMA, New York), this painting is Johns's first masterpiece.

$60-80 million

Arguably the most important Johns in private hands, it is not as "painterly" as "Diver" or "False Start" (see above).

Jackson Pollock - White cockatoo - Number 24A

Jackson Pollock
"White cockatoo - Number 24A", 1948
oil on canvas, 88.9 x 289.5 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Private collection, California

This large (over 9 feet long) and stunning canvas dates from Pollock's "golden age" (1947-1953)

$60-80 million

Not a "perfect" Pollock as "Lucifer" or "Number 5" (see above), but also an important work

Roy Lichtenstein - Masterpiece

Roy Lichtenstein
"Masterpiece", 1962
oil on canvas, 137.2 x 137.2 cm
image: © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS
Collection of Agnes Gund, New York

Lichtenstein is "the next real thing" in the contemporary Art market. Pollock, de Kooning, Bacon, Warhol, Johns and Rothko are now the artists whose works can be sold for more than $50 million. But Lichtenstein will be added to that group soon. Time to time

$60-80 million

Auction record for Lichtenstein is $44,9 million for "Sleeping Girl" (1964) in 20121. This is a more important work, his first great "comic" painting after the "Look Mickey" from the National Gallery of Washington.

1. "Lichtenstein's 'Sleeping Girl' sells for record $45 million", Reuters, published May 9th 2012

Roy Lichtenstein - Torpedo... Los!

Roy Lichtenstein
"Torpedo... Los!", 1963
oil on canvas, 172.7 x 203.2 cm
image: © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein/DACS
Charles Simonyi collection

Lichtenstein's "war paintings" rank among his most recognizable creations. This work was painted in the same year than the "Whaam!" diptych (London, Tate Modern), arguably his most important work

$60-80 million

Sold for $5.5 million in 19891. Sold privately for $14 million in 19982 (in both ocassions a record for the artist).

1. "Record prices for Bacon, Dubuffet and Lichtenstein", El País, published November 9th 1989
2. "Steve Wynn, Art Dealer", Artnet Magazine, July 21st, 1999

Francis Bacon - Study for a Self-Portrait—Triptych

Francis Bacon
"Study for a Self-Portrait — Triptych", 1985–86
oil on canvas, 198-442.5 cm.
image: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Private collection

One of Bacon's last masterpieces, and also the only full-length self-portrait that Bacon ever made.

$60-80 million

One of his most famous large triptychs. Not as colorful as some of his works from the 70s (compare with the "Triptych 1976" above), but its historical importance is remarkable.

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