These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold


Sculptures are among the most costly things in the world of collections, with pieces by the masters frequently selling for millions of pounds at auction. As a 3D model, they bring the subject matter to life in a way that other popular forms of art cannot. This, together with assiduous workmanship and expertise necessary to construct the sculptures, the contributes to their immense popularity. But how much can you afford to pay for one? Sit with us and learn about 10 of the most expensive sculptures ever sold. Beware, the prices might shock you a bit too much. 

L’Homme au doigt (Pointing Man) by Alberto Giacometti

Sold for: $141.3 million

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via Wikipedia

L’Homme au Doigt (The Man with the Finger) made auction history in May 2015 when it sold for an astounding $141.3 million, making it the most expensive sculpture ever sold. The bronze piece, created in 1947, revolutionized the concept of sculpture, shattering norms and establishing Giacometti’s distinct view of reality.

The artwork, titled “Pointing Guy,” portrays a lone wraith-like skinny man standing erect and pointing. Created in a world still reeling from the devastation of WWII, the statue served as a hopeful symbol for civilization emerging from the years of physical and psychological trauma.

L’Homme Qui Marche I (Walking Man I) by Alberto Giacometti

Sold for: $104.3 million

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via Wikiart

This sculpture, literally translated as “The Walking Man,” was first made for a public initiative by the Chase Manhattan Plaza in New York. Giacometti finally abandoned the assignment after battling with it, taking his incomplete work with him. Soon after, he decided to cast the sculpture in bronze and show it at the Venice Biennale the following year.

The Walking Man is widely regarded as one of Giacometti’s most important works and the culmination of his exploration with the human form, and it became the most expensive sculpture in history in a 2010 auction.

Tête by Amedeo Modigliani

Sold for: $47.1 million

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via www.artnet.com

A 73-centimeter-high stone sculpture by Amedeo Modigliani that sold for $70.7 million at Christie’s in 2015. Today, the majority of Modigliani’s work can only be viewed in museums, with only a few pieces remaining in private hands. Tête exemplifies the qualities that distinguish Modigliani’s work: classic forms evocative of the Italian Renaissance mix with the manner of African masks and Easter Island’s moai.

Balloon Dog (Orange) by Jeff Koons

Sold for: $58.4 million

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via Britannica

Balloon Dog, created by Jeff Koons, is the most expensive sculpture ever sold by a living artist. Balloon Dog is controversially one of America’s most well-known and polarizing series of sculptures that replicate commonplace items.

The sculpture is a 3-meter-tall stainless-steel, mirror-finished sculpture of a balloon dog that was made as part of his ‘Celebration’ collection, which also featured Valentine hearts, diamonds, and tulips. Sold to a private collector in 2013.

Guennol Lioness by Unknown

Sold for: $57.2 million

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via Wikipedia

The lone sculpture on the list by an unknown artist. The work, made of magnesite and crystalline limestone, is an Elamite art figure said to have been produced around 5,000 years ago (3000-2800 BC). Guennol Lioness, found in Baghdad, Iraq, was most likely carved around the time the wheel was invented. It is one of the few known artworks from the dawn of civilisation, and it sold for $57.2 million at Sotheby’s in 2007.

Grande Tête Mince by Alberto Giacometti

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via Wikipedia

Sold for: $53.28 million

This bronze sculpture, sculpted by the legendary Alberto Giacometti, a Swiss artist sold for $53.3 million in a 2010 auction.

The artwork, which translates as “Large Thin Head,” was inspired by either Alberto or his brother, Diego. Alberto’s warped style is evident in the painting, with the head being incredibly small in front yet complete and detailed in profile view. This results in an incredibly stunning, paradoxical piece that sold for far more than the projected $35 million, making it one of the most expensive sculptures ever.

Nu de dos, 4 état (Back IV) by Henri Matisse

Sold for: $48.8 million

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
via Wikipedia

Back IV is the fourth and final piece of famous artist Henri Matisse’s Back Series. Matisse worked on the series from 1909 to 1930, and they are by far his biggest sculptures.

The Back IV auction in 2010 was the first time a piece from this set had ever been sold at auction, with all other pieces being housed in museums across the world. Naturally, this piqued collectors’ attention, with auctioneers anticipating a selling price of approximately $13 million. This was shortly exceeded when the item was sold to a private bidder for $48.8 million.

Madame LR (Portrait de Mme LR) by Constantin Brâncuși

Sold for: $37.8 million

via Wikiart

Constantin Brâncuși sculpted this patinated bronze skull inlaid with gold leaf in 1913, and it was last auctioned at Christie’s in May 2017 for $37.8 million. For over two decades, Brancusi’s output was dominated by the topic of the sleeping head. Brâncuși defied convention by eschewing ornamentation in favor of simple, essential shapes. The serene head is one of four casts produced in 1910 from a marble, modeled by Baroness Renée Irana Franchon.

Tulips by Jeff Koons

Sold for: $33.6 million

via www.jeffkoons.com

Jeff Koons, an American artist, is well-known for his works that incorporate pop culture themes into ordinary things. His massive steel sculpture “Tulips” was sold for an exorbitant price at Christie’s to hotel magnate Steve Wynn, who is an avid collector of notable works of art.

The sculpture is made up of a bouquet of tulips in various hues, each with a transparent color coating and mirror-polished stainless steel. It was one of five distinct variants developed.

Reclining Figure: Festival by Henry Moore

Sold for: $24.9 million 

These Are 10 Of The Most Expensive Sculptures Ever Sold
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Henry Moore produced this abstract monument in 1951 as a commission from the Arts Council for the Berlin Festival. It depicts a reclining female figure resting on her two arms in a highly abstracted manner.

Moore started with a drawing, then made plaster maquettes and a tiny bronze model, which was subsequently expanded to make a full-size cast.

These were 10 of the most expensive sculptures that have been sold. Which one do you think is worth the $$$] Tell us in the comments below.

Loved learning about the most expensive sculptures in the world? Don’t miss reading about the 7 most powerful sculptures in Europe.


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