The relationship between art and money is quite extraordinary. Art lovers spend millions of dollars every year to own rare art and artifacts. Investing in art has proven to have stood the tests of time, including the gloomy days of recession. Besides, the work of art is a way for the uber-rich to showcase their grandeur and style. The art lovers inclination for precious artwork is backed by cultural preferences as well, like, the European nations are said to posses maximum number of art museums, Paris being the largest one in the world. Remarkably, Louvre in Paris houses over 35,000 pieces of art and paintings that has been the center of attraction for many in the world. Though, a work of art is invaluable and rating masterpieces by their sales prices may sound inappropriate, but for collectors, who buy paintings for status, as investment or have passion for collecting, we have prepared a list of most expensive paintings sold so far in 2011, read on:
1. Darmstadt Madonna
Price: $70 million
Artist: Hans Holbein the younger
Sold at: Staedel Museum, Frankfurt
The painting was completed in 1526 in Basel by the German artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the younger. The work portrays the Bürgermeister of Basel Jakob Meyer zum Hasen his first wife, his current wife, and his daughter grouped around the Madonna and infant Jesus. The painting was purchased by Reinhold Wuerth, a German billionaire for a little more than $70 million. The painting, which was sold recently, was hung on the walls of Staedel Museum, Frankfurt in 2003.
2. Qi Baishi's Painting
Price: $65 Million
Artist: Qi Baishi
Sold at: Beijing auction, China
The Chinese modern artwork is painted by Chinese artist Qi Baishi in 1946. The painting depicted "Eagle Standing on Pine Tree with Four-character Couplet in Seal Script". The eagle is painted in the middle with Chinese manuscript on both the sides. The painting was sold by Beijing-based auction house China Guardian at a high record price of $65 million. Guo Tong, General Manager at China Guardian said, “Qi Baishi is the most influential artist in China's contemporary and modern art history". This work, with its high price, marks a new era for the market of contemporary and modern Chinese artworks.
3. Zhichuan Resettlement
Price: $62.11 million
Artist: Wang Meng
Sold at: Beijing Poly Auction Company, China
A wash painting of mountains and waters by Yuan Dynasty painter Wang Meng was sold recently at Beijing Poly Auction Company. Zhichuan Resettlement is the most expensive painting sold in history of Chinese artworks auction as it fetched a sum of $62.11 million. Zuo Xinyang of Beijing Poly Auction Company, said, "This painting reflects the inner thoughts of the intelligentsia back in the Ming Dynasty, whose works pursued an artistic utopia and freedom."
4. 1949-A-No 1
Price: $61.7 Million
Sold at :Sotheby's New York
As the name of the paining says it was created in the year 1949 by the famous American painter, and one of the leading figures of Abstract Expressionism, Clyfford. This abstract art with white splashes over red canvas fetched $61.7million which was much more than the expected price $25 to $35 million. The painting was sold recently at Sotheby's New York along with few other Clyfford’s painting that fetched equally good amount.
5. I Can See the Whole Room...and There's Nobody In It
Artist: Roy Lichtenstein
Sold at: Christie's New York
This is an artwork that was created in 1961 by the well known American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. The painting is called ‘I Can See the Whole Room… and There's Nobody In It', depicts a man peeping through a rooms peep hole. It is four-square-foot work in graphite and oil work and is one of the most prominent pop art by the artist. The painting was sold at the Christie's postwar and contemporary art sale in New York recently. It fetched whooping $43.2Million and was bought by an unknown art lover.
6. Litzlberg on the Attersee
Piece: $40.4 Million
Artist: Gustav Klimt
Sold at: Sotheby’s, New York
Litzlberg on the Attersee was created in the year 1915 by a famous Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. The landscape was looted by Nazis in 1941 and was recently returned to the artist’s grandson Georges Jorisch, 83, by Salzburg's Museum of Modern Arts in July. The painting depicts a lake in western Austria surrounded by lush green trees. It was originally owned by Austrian iron magnate Viktor Zuckerkandl and was passed on to his sister Amalie Redlich in 1927. Redlich had a vast collection of paintings and other art works that were seized by Nazis in 1941 and sold off. The painting was recently sold at Sotheby’s, New York for a cool price of $40.4 Million.
7. Madonna and child
Price: $16.9 million
Sold at: Sotheby’s New York
The painting that was created around 1560 by a 16th-century Italian artist Titan was recently sold at the Sotheby’s New York. In this 450-year-old Madonna painting, Christ is depicted as a playful baby. The painting was sold by Gerlinda Kisters, who had inherited it from her husband, Heinz Kisters, who died in 1977. The painting was expecting to sell between $15 Million to $ 20 Million but fetched only $16. 9 million at Sotheby’s Old Masters auction in New York.
8.The Football Match
Price: $9.2 Million
Artist: L.S. Lowry
Sold at: Christie’s London
The paining was created in the year 1949 by the renowned artist from Stretford, L.S. Lowry who is also known for metropolitan landscapes peopled with human figures often referred to as "matchstick men". The Football Match was not witnessed by public for two decades and was sold recently at Christie’s London. The painting depicts hundreds of Lowry’s signature matchstick figures, assembled at a match in Manchester against a backdrop of factories with billowing chimneys. The painting was bought by an unknown bidder for $9.2 million.
9. Vasudhara Mandala
Price: $1.31 Million
Artist: Jasaraja Jirila
Sold at: Sotheby’s London
The painting was created by a 14th century Nepali artist Jasaraja Jirila that was created in 1365. The painting was sold at Sotheby’s London and fetched $1.31 Million. This painting is one of the earliest artwork from Nepal that contains a date within its dedicatory inscription. Senior director and head of Sotheby’s Middle East and India said, “The premium value of quality, rarity, freshness to the market and the provenance of a great name exercised their appeal for collectors. What was most noticeable yesterday (Wednesday) was the extraordinary depth and breadth of bidding across all price levels from private and institutional buyers.”
10. The Breaker Out
Artist: Jack B Yeats
Sold at: Adam’s art auction in Dublin
The painting 'The Breaker Out' created by an Irish artist Jack B Yeats was sold in Dublin for $325,000 by a Dublin auctioneer on behalf of an Irish client. This painting is the highest paid Irish painting sold in the year 2011. The art work was expecting to fetch somewhere between $150,000 to $250,000, but actually fetched $325,000, which was bit more than the expected price. In 1945, the painting was purchased by Guinness at an exhibition in Dublin and went through a number of possessors before ending up in a private collection in the American state of Virginia. According to the catalogue note the painting depicts, “Yeats used to explain that the ‘breaker out’ is the man who signals to the crane manipulator where and when to lower the packages on to a boat – so as not to crush everyone to death.”
Sold at: Christie’s New York
There are few paintings that are made in the name of charity and Kawsbob is one of such paintings. The painting was created by a New York-based artist Brian Donnelly who is professionally known as KAWS for Tohoku-Pacific Earthquake Benefit Auction. Many renowned artists such as Yoshitomo Nara, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst displayed their art works. All the paintings by these celebrated artists were displayed at a 3-day long exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, and then finally auctioned at the Christie’s New York. The sale generated almost $8,756,100 million in which “KAWSBOB Enters the Strange Forest” a painting by artist KAWS was sold for whooping $155,000. The price is the record price for the artists painting.
Apart from the most expensive paintings sold at auctions in year 2011, there are also other notable paintings that have fetched handsome prices at the auctions. Check out this exclusive video to know more about those paintings.