Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Record for Work of Art

This time, there's no doubt.
Pablo Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, from the collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, sold for a record $106,482,500 (includes buyer's premium) on May 4 at Christie's in New York City, breaking the previous world record for any work of art sold at auction. The buyer, at press time, remained anonymous.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, from Picasso's 1932 series of paintings depicting his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, was referred to as the "lost" 1932 Picasso because it had never been published in color. It was acquired by the Brodys in 1950 for $17,000 from dealer Paul Rosenberg and had been exhibited in public only once since its purchase, at a 1961 exhibition sponsored by the UCLA Art Council.
(Alberto Giacometti's Walking Man I sold at Sotheby's in London on February 3 for £65,001,250. Sotheby's used the HSBC mid-market exchange rate against sterling-1 GBP = 1.6050 USD-and claimed the price was $104,327,006, which topped Picasso's Garçon à la pipe as the most expensive work of art ever sold. Garçon à la pipe sold for $104,168,000 at Sotheby's in New York City in May 2004. Using the more conventional average Interbank ex-change rate for February 3-1 GBP = 1.59501 USD-Walking Man I sold for only $103,678,000, a phenomenal sum but short of Garçon à la pipe.)

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