MILAN – Big names justify big figures
Have you ever wondered how much some of the most famous works of art in the world are worth
And, above all, how much collectors are willing to spend
Reading this article you will truly understand that passion is priceless and the amounts invested to buy some famous paintings prove it. After having proposed yesterday the ranking of the 10 most expensive photos ever, here is the ranking of the 10 most expensive paintings in the world sold at auction by Rai arte
. 10 – Portrait of Joseph Roulin by Vincent Van Gogh 1889 (Sold in 1989 at a discounted cost of $ 108 million)
The man in uniform staring at the observer of the painting and Joseph Roulin, postman from Arles and good friend of Van Gogh in his stay in the city of Arles. The two met in 1888, the year in which Vincent arrived in the Provençal town, as they lived on the same street. Joseph Roulin was 47 years old, he was an imposing man, about two meters tall and worked in the postal services of the railways. The Dutch painter portrayed him several times, he also made various portraits of the other members of the family and gave them several paintings. The words of van Gogh written in Arles come to mind “…. the portrait of an artist must be as faithful as possible in terms of features, but to express that that artist “dreams of grandiose dreams” … he must exaggerate the blond hair, reaching “pale lemon”, and as a background,
. 9- Nude, green leaves and bust- Pablo Picasso (Sold at an anonymous buyer in New York for $ 112 million two years ago)
The painting depicts Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s lover, while in the background and recognizable the profile of the artist. The work, which was created in a single day, in 1932, comes from the private collection of the Californian Frances Lasker Brody, a philanthropist who died in November, and was exhibited to the public only once in 1951. The Picasso, sold in the evening start of the spring auctions in New York, broke the record set in February by a sculpture by Giacometti: ‘Walking Man I’, which was sold at Sotheby’s for 104.3 million dollars.
. 8- The Scream by Edward Munch1895 (Sold a year ago for 119.9 million dollars)
Without doubt the most famous painting by Munch and, by far, one of the most famous of Nordic Expressionism. In it all the anguished relationship that the artist feels towards life is condensed. We find the starting point of the picture described in his diary: I
was walking along the road with two friends
when the sun setting
the sky suddenly turned blood red
I stopped, I leaned dead tired on a fence
on the Nerazzurri fjord and on the city there. they were blood and tongues of fire
my friends kept walking and I was still trembling with fear
and I felt that a great endless scream pervaded nature.
The starting point is therefore decidedly autobiographical. The man in the foreground who screams and the artist himself. However, beyond its relative occasionality, the painting has an undoubted ability to convey universal sensations. And that is above all for his crude pictorial style. The painting presents, in the foreground, a man with a sinuous and soft aspect that recalls a spirit more than a person. The oval of the mouth is the true compositional center of the picture. From it the sound waves of the cry set the whole picture in motion: they shake both the man’s body and the waves that define the landscape and the sky. Only the bridge and the silhouettes of the two men in the background remain straight. They are deaf and impassive to the scream that comes from the soul of man. They are the painter’s friends, heedless of his anguish, testifying to the falsity of human relationships.
. 7- Boy with a pipe by Pablo Picasso 1905 (Sold in 2004 for 126, 4 million dollars (discounted price) according to some it was bought by the Italian group Barilla)
It is a painting (100 × 81 cm) made by the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, immediately after settling in his residence in Montmartre (Paris). The canvas portrays a boy, known as Petit Louis, who was wandering around the Spanish painter’s studio. The gray skin tones make the boy look unhealthy and help create a decadent vibe. The deep red of the rose crown contrasts strongly with the muted colors of the rest.
.. 6- Bal du moulin de la Galette by Pierre Auguste Renoir 1876 (It was sold in 1990 at a discounted cost of 138.7 million dollars)
Renoir was a master of grasping ordinary everyday events. In this Impressionist masterpiece he fixes a moment of Parisian life in an atmosphere of happy abandon, portraying the lightheartedness and the taste of the Belle Epoque: the Moulin de la Galette, a place set up in an old mill, is located at the top of the hill of Montmartre, the artists’ quarter. Renoir attended him for six months, to be able to grasp the unbridled joy that the painting expresses. Here the artist makes the dynamism and motion that animates the dancing figures and the lively crowd in a vibrant way. Due to the almost total absence of drawing, color has the task of rendering movement, shadows and reflections. There is no main subject. Groups of people help create the perspective depth of the scene. The setting is almost surreal: the dancers seem to be circling in the air, the chandeliers seem to hang from the sky. The reality is altered, the contour line fades, the colors overlap and mix, reflecting themselves in the objects. Light has no point of origin, everything is pure dynamism.
5- Portrait of Doctor Gauchet by Vincent van Gogh (Sold in 1990 at a discounted cost of 146.5 million dollars)
The portrait of the doctor is part of a particularly intense creative phase. A privileged model, Guichet is characterized by a melancholy attitude, which reflects ‘the disconsolate expression of our times’, as Van Gogh wrote. The only element of hope in this severe portrait with cold tones, the digital flower which, for its healing virtues, ensures a little comfort and serenity. Despite his self-denial and his attachment to the artist, Doctor Gachet will be unable to do anything to prevent Van Gogh’s irreparable act which, shortly after, would have taken his own life.
.4 – Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer by Gustav Klimt 1907 (Sold in 2006 at a discounted cost of $ 152.6 million)
The work is one of Klimt’s most famous masterpieces of the so-called “golden” period (1905-09) . It represents Adele Bloch-Bauer, wife of a sugar industrialist of Jewish origin. The figure of the woman stands out on a sort of golden lawn and finely chiseled with colored tiles. A thick gold leaf decoration envelops and covers her whole body. In the midst of so much preciousness, her face stands out, summing up the ambiguous contrast between eroticism and the transience of life, common to Klimt’s best portraits. It took Klimt almost 3 years to make the work.
. 3 – Woman by William de Kooning1953 (Sold in 2006 at a discounted cost of $ 156.5 million)
‘Woman I’, an oil from 1950/52, 192.7 × 147.3 cm, is part of a series of portraits of women where the raw declaration of an aggressive and decomposed sexuality prevails, made up of incisive signs and violent colors, which it will dilute, in the artist’s subsequent work, into more delicate and in a certain sense more devitalized images. De Kooning’s persistence on parts and sections of the body denounces the presence of violent and uncontrollable impulses that emerge from the unconscious and are organized on the canvas in complex and powerful compositions, where fragments of experience emerging from the context, in a strongly expressionist discourse, they evoke a drama that remains in some ways unresolved in our eyes as dismayed spectators in front of the whirlwind of contradictions that nourish the poetics of this artist.
.2- No. 5 by Jackson Pollock 1948 (Sold in 2006 at a discounted cost of $ 159.4 million)
The canvas, an intricate composition of browns and yellows, measures 1.2 meters wide by 2.5 meters high .
.. 1 – The Card Players by Paul Cezanne 1892-1893 (Sold in 2011 and purchased by the Qatari royals for an unofficial amount that should be around 254 million dollars)
In the foreground, two massive figures that convey an idea of ​​silent concentration. The bottle on which the light is reflected constitutes the central axis of the composition. It separates the space into two symmetrical zones, which accentuates the opposing position of the players. They are allegedly peasants whom the painter used to observe in his father’s estate at Jas de Bouffan, near Aix. The man who smokes a pipe has been identified in the person of ‘Compare Alexandre’, a local gardener. Of the five canvases that the painter dedicates to this theme, this is one of the most bare. In this work, everything contributes to confer a decidedly monumental aspect to the composition, thus favoring a chromatism with sumptuous harmonies. Source images in order of appearance:

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