Five Most Expensive Paintings of Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso: The Famous Spanish Painter
Pablo Picasso, indubitably one of the finest artists to have been born in the 20th century, lives in our hearts and minds through his marvelous work. Whenever he stroked a blank canvas with his brush, a rift in time was made; a piece of work immortalized at the very instance it was created.
His paintings, besides being iconic and largely recognized throughout the world, also often sell for substantial fortunes. The Spanish maestro’s work has become the pride and honor of art galleries, museums and private collections over the years. No other artist of his age has had such a huge impact upon the world of art and upon the life of a commoner alike.
Pablo Picasso’s Most Expensive Paintings
Having previously looked upon the most popular works of the artist, we now bring you a compilation of his most expensive paintings. Here’s a list of the 5 most expensive paintings of Pablo Picasso:
1) Le Reve
Price: $155 million in March 2013
The Spanish maestro’s very own tender-aged mistress Marie-Therese Walter is depicted in this exquisite work of art. She has been captured sleeping on a comfortable arm chair; a scenery that Picasso went on to replicate in another one of his Marie-Therese Walter paintings titled ‘La Lecture’. Legend has it that the artist finished this brilliant painting in one sitting on the afternoon of January 24th 1932. Marie-Therese Walter was only twenty four years of age back then while Picasso had just hit his fifties. There are two things about this painting which make it particularly renowned: it’s lush erotic imagery and the accident in which it was damaged back in 2006.
La Reve makes it to the top of the list of Pablo Picasso’s most expensive paintings. It has been sold for record price only to break that record in future! It placed sixth in the list of the most expensive paintings ever to have been sold back in November 1997 when, at a Christie’s auction, it brought in an astounding 48.4 million US dollars. It was then being resold in 2006 to the well known art collector Steven Cohen for 139 million (thrice its record price) by its previous owner and casino tycoon Steve Wynn. Wynn, while showing off this majestic work to a few of his friends, ran his arm right through the painting which therefore lowered its value down to 85 million. At first he planned not to sell it again but, in early 2013, he got it fixed and made good as new. The painting was then sold, at another one of Christie’s auctions, to Steven Cohen in 2006 for a staggering 155 million US dollars which makes it the second most expensive painting ever to have been sold!
2) Nude, Green Leaves and Bust
Place: Christie’s Auction House
Price: $106.5 million in May 2010
Being another one of Marie-Therese Walter’s depictions, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, like La Reve, also appeals to the eye of the beholder with its erotic content. Along the bottom of the painting, Picasso’s young mistress can be seen lying naked on floor with her limbs stretched out irregularly. In the background, leaves of the philodendron – or love – tree can be spotted. Picasso fancied the love tree and kept one in his residence. Upon keener inspection of the painting, there can be spotted a face coming out from behind a curtain. It is assumed to be Picasso’s own, emerging to deliver a kiss on his mistresses’ body. The painting belongs to the artist’s famous ‘blue period’. By now, he had perfected his own painting techniques. It is believed that Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was finished within a day.
Sidney and Frances Brody, famous art collectors of the 1950s bought this majestic artwork for a fairly low $17,000 somewhere in 1952. Until May 2010, the painting resided with the Brodies. It was then auctioned at Christie’s where it was sold for $106.5 million. Until La Reve was resold in 2013, Nude Green Leaves and Bust held the prestigious title of being Picasso’s most expensive painting while also holding the world record for being the most expensive painting sold at an auction.
3) Garcon A La Pipe
Place: Sotheby’s Auction House
Price: $104 million in May 2004
Garcon a la Pipe shows, in portrait, a boy wearing a crown made of roses on his head while holding a pipe in his left hand. This boy was a street worker from Paris who used to pose for Picasso. The maestro was only twenty four years of age when he finished painting this brilliant painting. Garcon a la Pipe brought the young Picasso a great deal of fame. The color theme of the painting distinguishes it from his later works. This one belongs to his famous Rose period.
The very first person to have bought this masterpiece was John Whitney, who paid $30,000 for it back in 1950. Whitney was the American ambassador to Great Britain. Garcon a la Pipe stayed a part of his private collection until the May of 2004. John Whitney died in 1982 and his wife, Betsey found a philanthropic organization called ‘Greentree Foundation’ soon afterwards. The painting was brought to a Sotheby’s auction under the Greentree Foundation’s supervision on 2004. The painting held the record for the greatest pre-sale estimate ever back then when it was estimated to sell around $70 million. The Spanish maestro’s masterpiece went on astonishing the experts attending the auction when it shot up to $104 million. It is the third most expensive painting by Picasso.
Have a look at Pablo Picasso master piece reproduction at Art Gaga.
4) Dora Maar Au Chat
Place: Sotheby’s Auction House
Price: $95.22 million in May 2006
Besides being one of his most iconic works, Dora Maar Au Chat was Picasso’s own personal favorite. The subject of the portrait is his very own mistress Dora Maar, who also happened to be one of the most popular surrealist photographers of the time. He always used to refer to her as his own ‘private muse’. The painting shows Dora Maar, alike Marie-Therese Walter, sitting on an armchair posing for the Picasso. In the background, a black cat can be seen right beside Dora’s shoulder. The Spanish maestro blends both bright and dark shades brilliantly in this work of his. For instance, the chaotic pattern of Dora’s dress, it increases the mystery of the painting two-fold.
Leigh and Mary Block, art collectors from Chicago, originally owned the painting. They decided to sell it to Chicago’s Gidwitz family’s private collection in 1963. After remaining a part of the Gidwitz collection for a good 43 years, it was put up for auction at the Sotheby’s in 2006. Experts estimated its value to go up to $50 million. And just like Garcon a la Pipe, Dora Maar Au Chat too went beyond it’s pre-sale estimates by quite a large sum. It was sold to a buyer whose identity remains unknown to this day. He paid $95.22 million (which is twice the pre-sale estimate) for the painting and it finally ceased to be a part of the Gidwitz collection.
5) Femme Aux Bras Croises
Place: Christie’s Auction House
Price: $55 million in November 2000
Femme Aux Bras Croises, which fairly translates to: ‘woman with crossed arms’ belongs to the maestro’s famous Blue Period. It is believed that the subject of this artwork was an actual female inmate belonging to a prison hospital in Paris called Saint Lazare. Among the many owners of this brilliant portrait was a famous writer and art collector named Gertrude Stein. He later had the high honor of becoming a subject of one of Picasso’s paintings.
The portrait was bought buy Chauncey McCormick, an art collector from a wealthy American family in 1963. It stayed with the mcCormicks till 2000. It was then bought by an anonymous buyer at an auction at Christie’s. There went on an intense battle of bids before the owner was chose. It sold for 55 million US dollars and remains, to this day, among the most expensive Picasso paintings ever.