A few weeks ago a new record was set at auction for the sale of a famous painting. Ronald Lauder (the makeup billionaire) paid $135 million for a painting called Adel Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt.
Previous record holders include:
- 2004 Pablo Picasso’s Boy with a Pipe at $104.1 million.
- 1990 Vincent van Gogh’s Irises for $53.9 million.
- 1987 Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers for $39.9 million.
- 1985 Andrea Mantegna’s Adoration of the Magi for $12 million.
- 1980 J.M.W. Turner’s Juliet and Her Nurse for $7 million.
- 1970 Diego Velazquez’s Portrait of Juan de Pareja for $5.5 million.
- 1961 Rembrandt van Rijn’s Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer for $2.3 million.
Now, this means that in the last 45 years the record price for art has increased by 13,000 percent (not inflation adjusted). My question is, what do the art collectors know that we don’t?
By the way, that new Klimt is now on display in a museum in New York. You can pay $15 to look at the most expensive art in the world. At that rate, they’ll only need about 10 million people to about break even.
Wikipedia has an excellent list of more record breaking art prices.