2007

Mark Rothko, White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose),1950

Rothko Mark Rothko, White Center (Yellow Pink and Lavender on Rose), 1950

Mark Rothko (1903 - 1970), is considered a representative of American abstract expressionism, even if the painter himself refused to submit his art to any categorization. His artistic practice evolves towards what the critic Clement Greenberg defined as the "Colorfield Painting", translated as "painting in fields of colors". The oil on canvas White Center is part of a decisive period in the career of the artist. It was completed in 1950, a crucial year when the artist managed to establish his formal style, which he kept until the end of his career.

White Center is one of the largest Rothko canvases among the 16 works painted during this landmark year. Estimated between 36,200,000 and 45,200,000 euros White Center was awarded a prize of 65,900,000 euros in May 2007 – a record for a masterpiece of Abstract Art.

2008

Francis Bacon, Triptych, 1976

Bacon Triptych, 1976, Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon (1909 - 1992), Anglo-Irish figurative painter, is known for his raw, cheeky and sometimes grotesque imagery. He often worked through 'serial' images and subsequently produced many diptychs and triptychs, often focused on a single subject. The Triptych 1976 passed under the hammer for 78,000,000 euros and is without a doubt one of the most important of Bacon's works. There are only a few triptychs this large left in the hands of private collectors, and Triptych 1976 is recognized by many critics as one of the artists very best in it’s very enigmatic, ambitious, and allegorical complexity.

2009

Andy Warhol, 200 One Dollar Bills, 1962

200 One Dollar Bills", Andy Warhol at Sotheby's New York. Photo AFP via Barnebys 200 One Dollar Bills", Andy Warhol at Sotheby's New York. Photo AFP via Barnebys

As the Grandmaster of Pop-Art, Warhol distinguished himself by his pictorial technique and his singular representations of everyday objects. He revolutionized American art by denouncing a society saturated by the media and consumption. Masterpiece as it is, 200 One Dollar Bills is Warhol's first silkscreen print and a testament to his great contribution to the history of art. Formerly in the hands of collectors Robert and Ethel Scull (one of the first known couples to support the Pop-Art movement), the work sold for 39 600 000 euros, record of the year 2009.

2010

Pablo Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 1932

Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, 1932

In October 1931, Picasso (1881-1973) celebrated his 50th birthday, which had the effect of considerably nourishing his artistic practice. The 6 months preceding this date, though it was a true challenge for the artist, also allowed him to revolutionize the world of sculpture. The coming months he explored the seated woman as a subject. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is part of a series in which he illustrated the beauty of his mistress, Marie-Thérèse Walter, a young blonde of whom he was madly in love. The work smashed all former sales records reaching 96,300,000 euros.

2011

Clyfford Still, 1949-A-No. 1, 1949

Clyfford Still, 1949-A-No . 1, 1949 Clyfford Still, 1949-A-No . 1, 1949

When 1949-A-No. 1 went up for sale during the year 2011, it was awarded the slightly surprising sum of 55,800,000 euros. Still was a post-war painter who contributed significantly to the world of painting by developing a very personal artistry. Described as the most anti-traditional of Abstract Expressionists, Still is known to have drifted into abstract art earlier than his contemporaries and for laying the groundwork for movement.

2012

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1895

the scream Edvard Munch, The Scream, E. Munch 1895

Everyone remembers the announcement of the record sale of Edvard Munch’s work The Scream – it went down in history during 2012 with a huge hammer price of 108 million euros. The Scream is one of the most deeply rooted images in our collective art memory and has been reinterpreted, reinvented, reproduced and referenced countless times over the course of history.

2013

Francis Bacon, Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969

Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Three Studies of Lucian Freud, '3 studies for portrait Lucian Freud 1969' Francis Bacon (1909-1992), Three Studies of Lucian Freud, '3 studies for portrait Lucian Freud 1969'

During 2013, the time had come for a new sales record when Francis Bacon’s (1909-1992) Three Studies of Lucian Freud were up for auction.The triptych sold for 129 million euros and marks the culmination of the relationship that Bacon had with Lucian Freud, depicted here very personally by the artist. It is a rare portrait of an emblematic figure of history and represents one of the most famous artistic friendships and rivalries of the twentieth century.

2014

Alberto Giacometti, The Chariot, 1950

Alberto Giacometti, Chariot, sculpture Alberto Giacometti, Chariot, sculpture

The Chariot, the patinated bronze sculpture of the famous Alberto Giacometti, wins one of the records in 2014 when it found a buyer for 90 200 000 euros. The sculpture is a masterpiece anchored with a very personal meaning to the artist and representative of the evolution of his universe. The image of the cart appeared to Giacometti as a 'vision', a memory that resurfaced from his unconscious and came, according to the artist, from his stay at the hospital in Bichat while recovering from an accident.

2015

Pablo Picasso, Les Femmes d'Alger ('O' Version), 1955

picasso Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O'), 1955

Picasso appears for the second time in our selection with the masterpiece "Les Femmes d'Alger. The work, dated February 14, 1955, is part of a period when the artist had reached a great maturity in his expression. It was sold in May 2015 for 162 million euros and shattered the sales records achieved until then. Today, it remains one of the most expensive works in the history of auctions.

2016

Claude Monet, Meule, 1891

monet Claude Monet (1840-1926), Meule, 1891

2016’s record is held by Claude Monet (1840-1926) and his extraordinary painting Meule.

The work is a testament to the artists great control of color and it’s one of Monet’s most experimental works. As part of a series on the subject of a mill, Monet studied the landscape by taking several approaches and explored his palette of colors by observing the view from several angles and under different lights. It was sold for 69 100 000 euros.

2017

Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, circa 1500

Leonard Da Vinci (1452-1519), Salvator Mundi, circa 1500 Leonard Da Vinci (1452-1519), Salvator Mundi, circa 1500

In November 2017, the news was out. Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi had crushed all former records, and goes down as the most expensive work in history. This masterpiece created by Leonardo da Vinci is among the rarest in the world and was the first Da Vinci work discovered since 1909. This painting depicting the Savior raising hands in sign of blessing, whose existence was little known, was presumed destroyed until its rediscovery that engendered a global surprise. The work reached a staggering sum of 382 million euros.

The only question left is – what will be the record of 2018?

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