Art: How Much Would You Pay?

The love of art crosses boundaries, transcends social classes and costs nothing. Owning art, on the other hand, comes at a price. A high price. In some cases, a massively high price. You could buy houses, or indeed whole streets, for less than some people pay for a Picasso.

The record for the highest sum reached at an art auction goes to Edvard Munch’s The Scream which sold for $119.9m (£74m/ €97m) at Sotheby’s in New York, in May 2012.

Artnet, an online art dealer, recently published a list of the top ten prices paid at art auctions during the month of June this year. First on the list is John Constable’s The Lock which sold at Christie’s in London for £22.4m, followed by Rembrandt’s A man in a gorget and cap which went for £8.4m.  Incidentally, all ten on the list could be bought for the price of the record-breaking Munch.

But if you couldn’t muster that much cash even if you turned out your pockets, emptied all those jars full of small change, and even threw in your beer money, don’t worry, because all of the artists in Artnet’s top ten are available in Europeana. So you can enjoy them without spending a single ban, cent, fillér, gros, haler, øre, penny,  santīms or stotinka.

Here’s our free gallery of selected sketches and paintings by artists whose work has recently gone for a song…

Rembrandt Hermensz Van Rijn, 'Rembrant's Mother', Rijksmuseum     Pieter Saenredam, 'Het oude stadhuis te Amsterdam', Rijksmuseum

Edvard Munch, 'The scream', Wellcome Library, London   Pablo Picasso 'Le Violon', French National Library   Joachim Wtewael, 'The proclamation to the shepherds', Rijksmuseum

Willem Van De Welde, 'Schepen voor de kust', Rijksmuseum     Vincent Van Gogh, 'Self Portrait', Rijksmuseum

Lucas Cranach, 'Venus and Amor', Rijksmuseum  Pieter Saenredam 'The transept of the Maria Church in Utrecht', Rijksmuseum   Orazio Borgianni, 'Sainte famille', French National Library

Pablo Picasso, 'Mandolin and Vase of Flowers', French National Library     Pieter Brueghel, 'The adoration of the Kings', Rijksmuseum

Joachim Wtewael, 'Adam and Eve', Rijksmuseum   Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn, 'Self Portrait', Rijksmuseum   Lucas Cranach, 'H Stefanus', Rijksmuseum

    Willem Van De Welde, 'Zeeslag', Rijksmuseum      Vincent Van Gogh, 'L'entrée du jardin public à Arles', French National Library

Images, courtesy of the French National Library, Rijksmuseum and Wellcome Library, are all in the Public Domain.


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