The very wealthy engage in the practice of spending millions of dollars on a single piece of artwork. While some do this as a hobby because they truly love and appreciate the finer things in life, art collectors are making an investment with every purchase. Most expensive pieces purchased are stored in climate controlled rooms where they are safe from theft and preserved against damage. Art collections are also valuable assets and many of the pieces only increase in value with the passage of time. We were interested in learning just how much the most expensive paintings were sold for. Here are the top ten most expensive on record for 2018.
10. Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee, Pablo Picasso – $69,435,900
This original Picasso was sold on February 28, 2018 at Sotheby’s of London auction. The painting was valued by the purchaser of well over $69 million after the addition of fees. The painting is a 1937 creation which has increased in value over the passage of time. It was purchased by Harry Smith of the Gurr Johns firm of Britain.
9. Woman as Landscape, Willem de Kooning – $68,937,504
The Woman as Landscape painting by de Kooning was created n the 1954-55 era. It was sold at a Christie’s New York auction on November 13th of 2018. It was purchased by a private bidder who was willing to pay just under $69 million for the piece.
*8. Portrait de Nancy Cunard, Constantin Brancusi – $71,187,500
The eighth most expensive piece sold for 2018 was the Portrait de Nancy Cunard, also known as La jeune fille sophistiquée by artist Constantin Brancussi. The piece is circa 1932 and sold for more than $71 million. The purchaser made the winning bid over the phone with Gouzer of the Christie’s New York auction. This auction made the piece the most expensive Brancusi work sold to date. We are aware this is technically a sculpture.
7. Odalisque couchée aux magnolias by Henri Matisse – $80,750,000
This piece was sold on the 8th of May in 2018 at Christie’s of New York. Th Matisse original was sold to a collector from Asia and went for the price of $80,750,000 including fees. The work went for a million more than auctioneers thought it would just prior to the auction. The painting was previously the property of the Rockefeller estate. The work was created by the artist in 1923.
6. Nymphéas en fleur by Claude Monet – $84,687,500
Monet’s Nympheas en fleur was sold on May 8th at the same auction offering the Matisse painting held at Christie’s New York. Monet created the painting between 1914 and 1917. There were bids of $50 and $75 million offered for the painting but the winning bid came in at more than 84 million dollars with fees, for Xin Li Cohen.
5. Suprematist Composition by Kazimir Malevich – $85,812,500
This is yet another Christie’s auction piece which sold for nearly $86 million after fees. The Malevich piece was composed in 1916 and is the quite small size of just 2 by 3 feet, but its rarity made it a highly desirable collectible piece. The winner of the auction was Brett Gorvy. The price of the painting was only asset$76 million and you can see what a difference the taxes make on a luxury asset. This was an all time high selling price for Malevich.
4. Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), David Hockney – $90,312,500
The fourth most expensive painting sold in 2018 was made by David Hockney. The piece sold for $80 million before fees on the purchase. The work was painted in 1972. The painting was made in the year 1929.
3. Chop Suey, Edward Hopper – $91,875,000
Edward Hopper’s Chop Suey painting was sold at a Christie’s auction on November 13th of 2018. The piece went for nearly $92 million. This was a phenomenal sale for the private buyer who purchased the third most expensive painting for 2018.
2. Fillette à la corbeille fleurie by Pablo Picasso – $115,000,000
Picacco’s Fillett a la corbeill flurie was the second most expensive painting sold in 2018. At a Christie’s auction in New York, it sold on the 8th of May in 2018 with several other famous pieces valued in the tens of millions. This painting was also from the Rockefeller estate and it is considered to be one of the rarest pieces in the world for the painter. The piece was created in 1905. It was formerly housed in Gertrude Stein’s estate prior to its purchase by David Rockefeller. The piece sold to the Nahmad family and was placed on display as a loan at the Paris Musee d’Orsay.
1. Nu Couché (Sur Le Côté Gauche) by Amedeo Modigliani -$157,159,000
The most expensive painting that was sold in 2018 is Modigliani’s 1917 painting Nu Couche. It was auctioned at Sotheby’s New York on the 14th of May in 2018. The piece is a reclining nude and one of the most highly desired pieces in the genre. It was placed on consignment by John Magnier of Ireland. When the piece was placed up for auction, no bidders had bitten on it for the estimated $150 million it was expected to bring, however, a buyer had already agreed to purchase the art for the selling price and when there was nobody else to top the bid, it was sold to a private bidder and has gone down in history as Sotheby’s most expensive selling item as well as ranking number four for all auction sales as of 2018.