The Most Expensive Artworks Sold at Auction in 2017

It’s been a year of record-breaking auction sales, unseating Andy Warhol as the most expensive American artist at auction. View the top 10 sales of 2017 below, can you feel your wallet wincing?


1. Leonardo da VinciSalvator Mundi (c. 1500), sold for $450 million

2. Qi BaishiTwelve Landscape Screens (1925), sold for $140.8 million

3. Jean-Michel BasquiatUntitled (1982), sold for $110.4 million

4. Vincent van GoghLaboureur dans un Champ (1889), sold for $81.3 million


Contrasting Forms; Contraste de Formes, 1913 (oil on canvas), Fernand Leger / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

5. Fernand LégerContraste de formes (1913), sold for $70 million

6. Andy WarholSixty Last Suppers (1986), sold for $60.8 million


Flower Garden, 1905-07 (oil on canvas), Gustav Klimt / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

7. Gustav KlimtBauerngarten (1907), sold for $59.3 million

8. Constantin BrancusiLa muse endormie (1913), sold for $57.3 million


Leda and the Swan, 1963 (oil, graphite and wax crayon on canvas), Cy Twombly / Private Collection / Photo © Christie’s Images / Bridgeman Images

9. Cy TwomblyLeda and the Swan (1962), sold for $52.8 million

10. Francis BaconThree Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1963), sold for $51.7 million


What do you think attributes to a high price fetched for an artwork at auction? Is it the intrigue and rarity of the piece, the aesthetic qualities of the artwork itself or the profile and biographical context of the artist? Or something else? Comment with your thoughts below.

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