10. Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1963)

Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer, 1963Image: Christie's Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer, 1963
Image: Christie's

In tenth place is Bacon's depictions of his lover, George Dyer, which sold at Christie's for $38.6 million. The piece, which once belonged to writer Roald Dahl, is the very first portrait Bacon made of his lmuse and lover Dyer, a petty thief from East London.

9. Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan (1962)

Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan, 1962Image: Christie's Cy Twombly, Leda and the Swan, 1962
Image: Christie's

$52.9 million, Twombly's modern takeover of Leda and the Swan earns itself ninth place after selling for $52.9 million at Christie's Post-War and Contemporary Art auction in New York last year.

The work encompasses the artist's influence of story-telling and mythology of the past, in this case the Roman myth of Jupiter being transformed into a swan and seducing Leda, who later gives birth to Helen of Troy. Typically, this myth would be represented with erotically charged imagery, but instead Twombly evokes a sense of violence, creating themes of opposition such as male and female, creativity and destruction.

8. Constantin Brancusi, La muse endormie (1913)

Constantin Brancusi, La muse endormie, 1913 Image: Christie's Constantin Brancusi, La muse endormie, 1913
Image: Christie's

The sleeping muse in bronze by artist Constantin Brancusi sold at for Christie's $57.4 million in May 2017, setting a new record for the artist.

The piece was acquired by French collector Jacques UImann in the 1950s and remained in his family until it was sold at Christie's last year.

7. Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten (1907)

Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten, 1907 Image: Sotheby's Gustav Klimt, Bauerngarten, 1907
Image: Sotheby's

Klimt's Bauerngarten was painted in 1907 during the artist’s 'golden period.' The piece, which had an undisclosed estimate, sold for $65 million, the third highest price paid for a work sold at auction in Europe.

6. Andy Warhol, Sixty Last Suppers (1986)

Andy Warhol, Sixty Last Suppers, 1986Image: Christie's. Andy Warhol, Sixty Last Suppers, 1986
Image: Christie's

Andy Warhol's depiction of Da Vinci's Last Supper went in the same sale as the latter's Salvator Mundi. The 60 black and white interpretations of da Vinci's Last Supper sold in November for $60.8 million at Christie's in New York.

5. Fernand Léger, Contraste de Formes (1913)

blog.php-272 Fernand Léger, Contraste de formes (1913)
Image: Christie's

In 2008, La Femme by Léger sold at Sotheby's for $39.24 million. Contraste de formes from 1913 set a new record for the artist when it sold for $70 062 500 at Christie's in New York.

4. Vincent van Gogh, Laboureur Dance Un Champ (1889)

Vincent van Gogh, Laboureur dans un champ (1889)Image: Christie's Vincent van Gogh, Laboureur dans un champ (1889)
Image: Christie's

Laboureur Dance Un Champ from 1889 was created after the artist was given permission from his doctor to paint following a series of mental breakdowns. The view from Van Gogh's room at the mental hospital sold for $81.3 million when it was auctioned at Christie's in November.

3. Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (1982)

Image: Instagram/@yusaku2020 Image: Instagram/@yusaku2020

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled work had not be shown to the public in 35 years until it was auctioned at Sotheby's last year. The painting was once purchased by Emily and Jerry Spiegel in 1984 at Christie's auction for $155,000 and was later inherited by their daughter. The piece was purchased in 2017 for $110.5 million by collector and e-commerice entrepreneur, Yusaku Maezawa,  a record price for any work by an American artist.

2. Qi Baishi, Twelve Landscape Screens (1925)

Qi Baishi, Twelve Landscape Screens (1925)Image: thevalue.com Qi Baishi, Twelve Landscape Screens (1925)
Image: thevalue.com

In December, twelve small paintings by artist Qi Baishi set a new record for a work of Chinese art as it sold for $140.8 million, making Baishi the first Chinese artist to break the $100 million mark at auction.

The piece, which was sold at Beijing Poly International Auction, made Baishi, who was born to a poor family, one of the world's most valued Chinese artists of 2017.

1. Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi

Leonardo Da Vincis, Salvator MundiImage: Christie's Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi
Image: Christie's

The history of Da Vinci's Christ as Salvator Mundi is chequered to say the least. At the beginning of the last decade, the piece was owned by several dealers including Warren Adelson, Alexander Parish and Robert Simon. Parish had previously purchased the work for $10 000, he had the work restored and authenticated as an original Da Vinci. It was revealed to the public in 2011 at the National Gallery as part of the show, ''Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan.''

Two years after this show closed, dealer Yves Bouvier purchased the piece in a private sale brokered by Sotheby's for around $80 million. Bouvier sold it to Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million, which made the dealer a tidy profit. A profit which Rybolovlev later decided was an illegal overcharge and filed a lawsuit against Bouvier.

Following the November auction, it was revealed the following month that the buyer of Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi was an Arab prince who purchased the piece for the Louvre Abu Dhabi's collection.

Source: artsy.net

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