Most expensive artists at auction in 2014


Francis Bacon, Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards

As in recent years, modern and contemporary works brought in the most money at auction in 2014, due in part to their popularity with buyers from Russia and the Far East.

The most expensive lot to sell in 2014 was Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot, which sold for $101 million at Sotheby’s, followed by Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards, which sold at Christie’s for a total of $80.8 million. Bacon’s auction success follows on from the 2013 sale of Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucien Freud which went for over $140 million, making him the most expensive artist at auction.

Giacometti and Bacon were followed by Modigliani, Manet, and Van Gogh, who brought in $70.7 million, $65.1 million, and $61.7 million respectively. Other artists in the top ten include Impressionists Monet and Pissarro, Cubist Juan Gris, and Romantic painter J. M. W. Turner. The only contemporary artist whose work was amongst the top ten most expensive pieces at auction in 2014 was German painter Gerhard Richter, coming in at number nine with Abstraktes Bild, which sold at Christie’s for $32.5 million.