Top 5: Most Expensive Picasso Paintings

Published on August 7th, 2011

Pablo Picasso was a 20th century Spanish artist estimated to have produced in the region of 50,000 works. These included paintings, sculptures, ceramics, drawings and prints. Many or his works have sold for record prices at auction and privately. This is the definitive list of the 5 most expensive Pablo Picasso paintings ever sold.

1. $106.5m – Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Dating from 1932 Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was sold in May 2010 at Christies in New York. Although paintings have been sold for higher prices privately, this is currently the record for a painting sold at auction.

The painting is of Picasso’s muse Marie-Thérèse Walter who posed for a series of portraits from 1932.

Originally bought by art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody directly from Picasso’s dealer in 1951, the work was auctioned following the death of Frances Brody in 2009. It is now on display at the Tate Modern in London.

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

2. $104.1m – Garçon a la pipe

Painted in 1905 during Picasso’s Rose Period, Garçon a la pipe was sold in May 2004 at Sotherby’s in New York.

Originally selling for $50,000 in 1950, the painting briefly held the world record for a painting sold at auction and was the first work to fetch over $100m. The price raised some eyebrows in the art community, with some experts “stunned” that such a minor work fetched a record some.

Garçon a la pipe

3. $95.2m – Dora Maar au Chat

Dora Maar au Chat was painted in 1941 and sold at Sotherby’s in New York in May 2006.

The painting is of Picasso’s lover at the time, Dora Maar, and details her sitting on a chair with a cat sitting on her shoulder.

The painting was purchased by an anonymous Russian bidder who also purchased a Monet and Chagall in the same auction of impressionist and modern art.

Dora Maar au Chat

4. $55m – Femme aux bras croisés

Painted in 1902 during Picasso’s Blue Period, Femme aux bras croisés was sold in November 2000 at Christies in New York.

Originally purchased by famous art collector Gertrude Stein directly from Picasso, in 1936 the painting passed into the possession of another famous collector, Chauncey McCormick. The McCormick family organised the auction at which it sold for $55m.

Femme aux bras croisés

5. $51.9m – Les noces de Pierrette

Les noces de Pierrette is another painting from Picasso’s Blue Period and was completed in 1905. It was sold at Binoche et Godeau in Paris in November 1989.

The painting was originally owned by one of Picasso’s friends and then his son until 1962. It then changed hands once more until it was donated to the French Government who auctioned it in 1989.

Les noces de Pierrette

 

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