Below are some expensive sculpture works across the past and present centuries;
The art of sculpting is the only type of art that has been in demand since the beginning of civilisation. And while we frequently hear about master artists’ paintings going for millions of dollars at auction, we don’t hear as much about sculptures. Here are the top 10 sculptures ever sold in terms of price!
Alberto Giacometti’s “Pointing Man,” L’Homme au doigt
L’Homme au doigt, also known as “Pointing Man,” rose to the top of the sculpture price list when a private collector paid a staggering US$141.3 million for it in May 2015. The 1947 bronze statue is regarded as the “most iconic and evocative sculpture” by Swiss sculptor Alberto Giacometti. It is the only cast that Giacometti manually painted, and it is 5 feet 10 inches tall.
Guennol Lioness by Unknown
The Guennol Lioness, which was found in Iraq close to Baghdad, is thought to be about 5000 years old. The anthropomorphic lioness-woman on this Mesopotamian limestone monument has a very muscular figure. One of the final masterpieces from the birth of civilisation still in private hands, according to Sotheby’s. The most expensive antiquity ever sold, it was sold to a private collector for $57.2 million in 2007.
Reclining Figure: Festival by Henry Moore
The Arts Council ordered Henry Moore’s original Reclining Figure in 1951 for the Festival of Britain. It is made up of numerous tubular and bulbous shapes that together create an abstraction of a woman lying down. This sculpture, one of Moore’s five full cast works, fetched $33.1 million at Christie’s 250th Anniversary Auction in June 2016!
Alberto Giacometti’s Grande Tête Mince
The Grande Tête Mince, the third work by Giacometti on this list, sold at auction in 2010 for $53.3 million. The sculpture, which is regarded as Giacometti’s most radical piece, offers two points of view: an extended side view and an illusory frontal view. The artwork, which was inspired by the existential movement, features a figure poised to speak with parted lips.
Balloon Dog (Orange) by Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons is recognized for creating elaborate copies of commonplace items. The Balloon Dog by Jeff Koons sold for $58.4 million, the highest price ever for a living artist’s sculpture! One of six dogs made of polished stainless steel in various colors is the orange Balloon Dog.
Tête by Amedeo Modigliani
Amedeo Modigliani, an Italian artist who was passionate about sculpture being an act of carving, created Tête from a single piece of limestone. In 2010, it was sold to a private collector for $59.5 million. The sculpture, with African influences, shows a woman with backswept hair and a tribal mask that resembles an ancient deity.
Alberto Giacometti’s L’Homme Qui Marche I (Walking Man I)
Brazilian philanthropist and socialite Lily Safra paid $104.3 million for Giacometti’s 1961 tall, spindly bronze statue of a walking man, L’Homme qui marche I, in February 2010. Even the $100 Swiss Franc bill features this figurine! Giacometti is the only sculptor whose works have sold for more than $100 million and is regarded as a maestro of modern art.
Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV) by Henri Matisse
Constantin Brâncuși’s Madame LR (Portrait de Mme LR).
Famous for his clean, polished marble sculptures with uninterrupted lines is Costantin Brâncuşi. Madame LR, on the other hand, is an abstract wooden sculpture that depicts the silhouette of a woman and has rough surfaces and straight edges. In 2009, it was sold for $37,6 million.
Tulips by Jeff Koons
A massive sculpture of a flower bouquet called Tulips is made of polished stainless steel and covered in a variety of transparent colors. It is a part of Jeff Koon’s “Celebration” series and represents the mass-produced, standardized items typically found at special events. The sculpture has a lightness about it that belies how heavy it actually is. Hotelier Steve Wynn paid $33.7 million for Tulips in 2012.