Table of Contents
- 9. Jimson Weed, by Georgia O’Keeffe (1932): $44.4 million
- 8. Le Printemps, by Edouard Manet (1881): $65.1 million
- 7. Untitled, by Cy Twombly (1970): $69.6 million
- 6. Four Marlons, by Andy Warhol (1966): $69.6 million
- 5. Portrait of George Dyer Talking, by Francis Bacon (1966): $70 million
- 4. Two untitled Mark Rothko paintings: $76 million
- 3. Three Studies For A Portrait Of John Edward, by Francis Bacon (1884): $80.8 million
- 2. Triple Elvis (Ferus Type), by Andy Warhol (1963): $81.9 million
- 1. Black Fire I, by Barnett Newman (1961): $84.2 million
These paintings are so valuable that art enthusiasts are willing to spend millions when they get auctioned off. Do you imagine that some of these paintings cost millions of dollars? Some paintings may look too ordinary for the eyes but the main factors that make these paintings costly are being very old, rare or painted by famous artists like Georgia O’Keeffe, Francis Bacon… Here is a list of the 10 most expensive paintings sold in 2014:
9. Jimson Weed, by Georgia O’Keeffe (1932): $44.4 million
O’Keeffe was immensely fond of jimson weed, ignoring its seeds’ toxicity and allowing it to flourish around her patio. She reiterated the pinwheel-shaped flowers’ structure in the tight placement of the four blossoms in the painting. Her use of rhythmic light and shade and a simplified palette underscores their fresh, simple beauty.
8. Le Printemps, by Edouard Manet (1881): $65.1 million
Le Printemps, completed in 1881. Edouard Manet’s exquisite allegorical painting Le Printemps is set to go to auction in New York for the first time in its over 100 years life. The timeless look of this allegorical impressionist work makes it a universal treasure which transposes the beauty of spring into the likeness of a woman. “It is one of the best, the most original and most harmonious paintings Manet has yet produced.” – Louis de Fourcade, “Le Gaulois,” 4 May 1882.
7. Untitled, by Cy Twombly (1970): $69.6 million
With its dramatic overlacing of many irregular looping lines, Untitled is an elaborate, even flamboyant example from Twombly’s series of lasso-line paintings. It is a work in which the raw energy and singularity of Twombly’s magical line, though miraculously maintained throughout, seems, in places, frenetic and almost on the point of scrambling out of control.
6. Four Marlons, by Andy Warhol (1966): $69.6 million
This dramatic rendition of Marlon Brando, his dark inscrutable eyes staring out nonchalantly from underneath his peaked cap, provides an unrivaled portrayal of one of the greatest 20th century cultural icons.
5. Portrait of George Dyer Talking, by Francis Bacon (1966): $70 million
Portrait of George Dyer Talking is an oil painting executed in 1966. It is a portrait of his lover George Dyer made at the height of Bacon’s creative power. It depicts Dyer sitting on a revolving office stool in a luridly coloured room. His body and face are contorted, and his legs are tightly crossed. His head appears to be framed within a window or door. Above him is a naked hanging lightbulb, a favourite motif of Bacon’s. The work contains a number of spatial ambiguities, not least that Dyer’s body seems to be positioned both in the fore and background.
4. Two untitled Mark Rothko paintings: $76 million
It tops out at nearly double the high end of its pre-sale estimate.
3. Three Studies For A Portrait Of John Edward, by Francis Bacon (1884): $80.8 million
Painted in 1984, Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards is a celebration of what was probably the most important and significant relationship of Francis Bacon’s life. The subject of this painting is John Edwards, a bar manager from the East End of London, who Bacon had met a decade earlier and who went on to become one of the artist’s closet and most trusted companions. Across a magnificent triumvirate of monumental canvases, Bacon paints near life-size portraits of his companion in a relaxed pose.
2. Triple Elvis (Ferus Type), by Andy Warhol (1963): $81.9 million
Standing 82 inches tall and 69 inches wide, the full-figure triple portrait of the singer turned Hollywood star is one of a series of artworks that Warhol produced for his 1963 show at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, the triple version is one of the rarest. Standing with his trademark proud stance, legs apart and his pistol recently drawn from the holster hanging from his famous hips, Andy Warhol’s rendition of Elvis Presley dominates the canvas just as the singer dominated the cultural landscape of the 1950s and 1960s. For Warhol, who was fascinated by popular culture, fame and celebrity, Elvis was the perfect subject.
1. Black Fire I, by Barnett Newman (1961): $84.2 million
“Newman wanted to handle the raw canvas, relative to the black, in such a way that it would ‘become color’ and possess its own sense of light,” according to a profile of the artist by the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The buyer of “Black Fire I” remains anonymous.
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