Magazine Home  |  News  |  Features  |  Reviews  |  Books  |  People  |  Horoscope  
Back to Features 97


the artnet nude 100

by Walter Robinson and Randi Harari  

   Welcome to the ArtNet Nude 100, a listing of the top 100 nudes sold at auction worldwide in the past 10 years as determined by ArtNet's unique auction database, Auctions Online.

Our methodology was straightforward. We instructed ArtNet Auctions Online to rank the 1.5 million art works in our database by price, and then selected the nudes from the list. All the usual suspects are there: Picasso, Renoir, Degas, Cézanne -- even de Kooning.

Our purpose is more complex. Why compile the ArtNet Nude 100? Because we never heard of anyone hiding a stack of still-life pictures under their mattress! More seriously, we wanted to begin an investigation into the populist roots of fine art in America -- that is to say, not in the salon but in the saloon. The ArtNet Nude 100 is democratic undertaking, designed for the art tourist. It's an unalloyed pitch for hits.

We hope the ArtNet Nude 100 will draw attention to Auctions Online, which was only recently moved into our Web site. This amazing bit of computer programming is a uniquely independent appraisal tool for people buying or selling art -- in addition to the various uses it also might have during the art world's slow summer months.

Finally, we should note that, despite the changes in the contemporary art world wrought since the 1960s by the feminist revolution, the art market remains -- at least at the high end -- a resolutely patriarchal place. (Readers are encouraged to develop this theme at length on their own; we will not do so here.) At this atavistic level, it seems, the practice of art involves a male artist looking and a female model on display. Quaint though such a picture may be, we still say that portrayal of the nude can approach the sublime. And we hope that this traditional frame can be made to fit the issues of gender psychology that animate so much art practice today.

Before we present the ArtNet Nude 100, however, allow us a few observations.

  1. As is probably the case in the art market overall, Picasso is the winner, hands down, taking the top three places. Surprisingly, the #1 and #2 spots are occupied by Le miroir, Picasso's famed 1932 portrait of his lover Marie-Thérèse. Needless to say, this image is not your typical pin-up -- though it is widely considered to be a consummately romantic picture despite its modernistic distortions. Paintings by Picasso -- a total of 15 -- tied with Renoir as the most frequent on the list and Picasso works generated the most money in total sales -- over $105 million. Six Picassos are among the top 20 on the list.
  2. Renoir's 15 nudes sold for about $47.5 million, less than half of Picasso's total for the same number of works. Two Renoirs make the top 20. Four Renoir works sold more than once -- Baigneuse sold three times, and Après le Bain, Baigneuse debout and Deux baigneuses each sold twice.
  3. Alberto Giacometti's series of standing women appear a number of times in the Nude 100. Grande femme Debout I sold three times, tying with Renoir's Baigneuse and Degas' La toilette -- the three most frequently sold works. Giacometti's Grande femme debout III and Femme debout are also on the list.
  4. In addition to Picasso and Renoir, leading purveyors of the nude are Matisse, with 12, and Degas, with 11. Two post-war artists make the ArtNet Nude 100 -- Francis Bacon and Willem de Kooning .
  5. Old Masters only make a modest appearance in the Nude 100. Needless to say, masterpieces by such artists as Botticelli or Rubens rarely come up for auction. Titian makes #5, however, and Veronese comes in at #34.
  6. Only one nude male figure makes the list, Bourdelle's Herakles Archer (#69, #98). Figure groups by Cézanne (#15, #48) and other artists, however, do include males.
  7. The total hammer price of the top 100 is $357,244,861. Although the list includes 100 works, only 32 artists are represented.

The ArtNet Nude 100
arranged according to price

(click on title to view image and auction results)

1$26,400,000Pablo PicassoLe miroir, 1932
Sotheby's New York, 11/15/89
2$20,022,500Pablo PicassoLe miroir, 1932
Christie's New York, 11/7/95
3$15,400,000Pablo PicassoFamille de l'Arlequin, 1905
Christie's New York, 11/14/89
4$14,850,500Henri MatisseLa pose hindou, 1923
Sotheby's New York, 5/8/95
5$13,555,636TitianVenus and Adonis, 1555
Christie's London, 12/13/91
6$12,432,500Amadeo ModiglianiNu assis au collier, 1917
Christie's New York, 5/10/95
7$11,300,000Pierre Auguste RenoirJeune femme se baignant, 1888-
Christie's New York, 5/14/97
8$7,700,000Fernand LegerLe petit déjeûner, 1921
Christie's New York, 11/5/91
9$7,200,000Pablo PicassoDemi-nu à la cruche, 1906
Christie's New York, 5/14/97
10$7,175,027Pierre Auguste RenoirAprès le bain, 1900
Christie's London, 6/26/89
11$6,600,000Edgar DegasAprès le bain (on joined paper), circa 1883-
Christie's New York, 11/13/96
12$6,050,000Pablo PicassoFemme nue assise, 1959
Sotheby's New York, 11/10/88
13$5,500,000Pablo PicassoLa dormeuse au miroir, 1932
Christie's New York, 11/14/90
14$4,950,000Alberto GiacomettiGrande femme debout I, 1960
Christie's New York, 11/14/89
15$4,628,212Paul CézanneLes cinq baigneurs, 1880-1882
Christie's London, 11/30/92
16$4,622,500Pablo PicassoFemme coucheé à la mèche blonde, 1932
Christie's New York, 5/10/94
17$4,180,000Henri MatisseFigure décorative
Sotheby's New York, 5/17/90
18$3,960,000Alberto GiacomettiGrande femme debout I, 1960
Christie's New York, 11/14/90
19$3,900,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse Debout, 1887
Christie's New York, 5/12/97
20$3,850,000Edgar DegasFemme en peignor bleu, le torse découvert, 1887-1890
Sotheby's New York, 10/18/89
21$3,680,000Kees van DongenFemme au grand chapeau
Sotheby's London, 6/24/97
22$3,670,051Henri MatisseNu au turban (Henriette), 1921
Christie's London, 6/21/93
23$3,630,000Willem de KooningPink Lady, 1944
Sotheby's New York, 5/4/87
24$3,630,000Alberto GiacomettiGrande femme debout II, 1960
Christie's New York, 5/12/87
25$3,613,139Edgar DegasFemme à sa toilette, 1895
Christie's London, 11/28/88
26$3,600,000Henri MatisseOdalisque assise, 1929-
Christie's New York, 5/14/97
27$3,460,751Pierre BonnardNu en hauteur ou femme nue en debout, 1906
Sotheby's London, 11/28/89
28$3,300,000Pablo PicassoFemme à chapeau assise, 1971
Christie's New York, 5/15/90
29$3,137,966Marc ChagallDaphnis and Chloé, -1961
Sotheby's London, 6/26/90
30$3,116,399Pablo PicassoFemme nue accroupie sur fond vert, 1960
Christie's London, 4/2/90
31$3,080,000Pierre Auguste RenoirAprès le bain (Etude de Nu), 1910
Christie's New York, 11/14/89
32$3,080,000Alberto GiacomettiGrande femme debout I, 1960
Christie's New York, 5/12/87
33$2,992,688Henri MatisseDeux negresses, 1908
Sotheby's London, 4/4/89
34$2,970,000VeroneseCupid Disarmed by Venus
Christie's New York, 1/10/90
35$2,862,500Edgar DegasLe bain, femme vue de dos, 1895
Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
36$2,828,882Kees van DongenFemme fatale, 1905
Christie's London, 12/3/90
37$2,828,355Pablo PicassoTête de femme, 1906
Christie's London, 6/26/95
38$2,811,581Jean Baptiste Camille CorotVénus au Bain, 1873-1874
Sotheby's London, 6/19/90
39$2,750,000Pierre Auguste RenoirFemme nue couchée, 1888
Sotheby's New York, 11/12/90
40$2,750,000Gustave MoreauLe poète et la sirène, 1892-1893
Sotheby's New York, 10/24/89
41$2,750,000Pierre Auguste RenoirNu assis
Sotheby's New York, 11/13/90
42$2,750,000Pierre Auguste RenoirNu couche (Odaliqsue couché), 1914
Sotheby's New York, 5/17/90
43$2,587,500Joachim Anthonisz WtewaelDiana and Actaeon, 1608-
Sotheby's New York, 1/30/97
44$2,530,000Alberto GiacomettiGrande femme debout III, 1960
Christie's New York, 5/12/87
45$2,406,713Giulio RomanoThe Spinola Holy Family
Christie's London, 12/9/94
46$2,369,176Bartolome-Esteban MurilloThe Vision of St. Francis of Paola, 1665-1670
Sotheby's London, 12/6/89
47$2,367,500Edgar DegasAprès le bain (femme nue couchée), 1885
Christie's New York, 11/7/95
48$2,230,445Paul CezanneLes baigneurs
Sotheby's London, 11/27/95
49$2,200,000Jean-Leon Gerome Bathsheba
Sotheby's New York, 2/28/90
50$2,200,000Pierre BonnardNu rose, tête ombrée, 1919
Sotheby's New York, 10/18/89
51$2,200,000Pierre Auguste RenoirDeux baigneuses, 1896-
Christie's New York, 5/10/89
52$2,200,000Aristide MaillolLes trois nymphes, 1930-1937
Sotheby's New York, 11/6/91
53$2,200,000Henri MatisseNu debout devant la cheminée, 1936
Sotheby's New York, 5/13/92
54$2,179,218Pablo PicassoFemme nue, 1965
Loudmer Scp., 3/25/90
55$2,092,500Edgar DegasLa toilette, 1884-1886
Sotheby's New York, 5/11/94
56$2,090,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse, 1905-
Christie's New York, 5/10/89
57$1,982,500Tamara de LempickaAdam and Eve, 1932
Christie's New York, 3/3/94
58$1,982,500Auguste Rene Francois RodinPsyché, regardent l'Amour, 1899
Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
59$1,980,000Alberto GiacomettiFemme debout, 1958
Christie's New York, 11/14/89
60$1,980,000Pablo PicassoDeux femmes nues et tête de femme, 1933
Christie's New York, 11/13/89
61$1,980,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigineuse debout, 1896
Sotheby's New York, 5/14/85
62$1,951,484Jean Baptiste Camille CorotDiane au bain-la Source, 1869-1870
Sotheby's London, 11/29/88
63$1,927,500Henri de Toulouse-LautrecLe lit, 1898
Sotheby's New York, 5/9/95
64$1,925,000Rene MagritteLa philosophie dans le boudoir, 1947
Sotheby's New York, 11/13/90
65$1 872,500Pablo PicassoNu debout et femme assise, 1939
Christie's New York, 5/11/95
66$1,872,500Pablo PicassoFemme dans un fauteuil, 1932
Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
67$1,870,000Willem de KooningTwo Women IV
Christie's New York, 11/9/88
68$1,842,440Antonio Lucchese FranchiTemple of Venus
Sotheby's London, 7/5/95
69$1,760,000Emile Antoine BourdelleHerakles Archer, 1909
Sotheby's New York, 11/15/89
70$1,760,000Edgar DegasFemme à sa toilette, 1897
Christie's New York, 5/8/91
71$1,730,375Henri MatisseNu aux soliers roses, 1900
Christie's London, 11/27/89
72$1,707,907Henri MatisseLa danse
Millon & Robert, 11/30/95
73$1,705,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse assise vue de profil (Gabrielle), 1913
Christie's New York, 11/11/92
74$1,703,619Henri MatisseNu rose, 1936
Christie's London, 6/29/87
75$1,673,418Edgar DegasLa toilette, 1885
Sotheby's London, 11/27/95
76$1,652,500Kees van DongenAnita en Alme, 1908
Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
77$1,650,000Odilon RedonThe Birth of Venus, 1912
Sotheby's New York, 5/9/89
78$1,595,000Pierre BonnardFemme nue, 1925
Sotheby's New York, 11/12/90
79$1,595,000Edgar DegasLa toilette, 1883
Sotheby's New York, 11/12/90
80$1,560,535Pablo PicassoVénus et Amour, 1968
Sotheby's London, 6/25/91
81$1,542,500Hendrick GoltziusThe Fall of Man, 1616
Christie's New York, 5/15/96
82$1,542,500Henri MatisseNu au peignoir, 1933
Christie's New York, 11/7/95
83$1,501,436Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse, 1892-1893
Christie's London, 12/1/86
84$1,493,973Jean-Leon GeromeUn Bain maure (Femme turque au bain), 1874-1877
Christie's London, 11/21/96
85$1,477,060Paul CezanneBaigneuses, 1902-1906
Christie's London, 6/29/92
86$1,459,854Edgar DegasJeune danseuse nue, 1878
Christie's London, 11/28/88
87$1,432,500Pierre Auguste RenoirDeux baigneuses, 1896
Christie's New York, 4/30/96
88$1,432,500Pablo PicassoFemme nue à l'oiseau et flûtiste, 1967
Sotheby's New York, 11/4/93
89$1,432,500Henri MatisseNu au canapé jaune, 1924
Christie's New York, 5/10/94
90$1,430,000Pierre Auguste RenoirJeune femme décorant une poterie, 1918
Sotheby's New York, 11/15/89
91$1,430,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse, 1887
Christie's New York, 5/14/86
92$1,430,000Willem de KooningClam Diggers, 1964
Christie's New York, 11/7/89
93$1,430,000Henri MatisseNu couché I (Aurore), 1907
Christie's New York, 11/19/86
94$1,394,074Edgar DegasLe petit déjeûner après le bain, 1896
Christie's London, 11/28/95
95$1,377,500Francis BaconPortrait of Henrietta Morales on White Ground, 1964
Sotheby's New York, 5/2/95
96$1,375,000Paul DelvauxLa ville endormie, 1938
Christie's New York, 5/8/91
97$1,366,671Rene MagritteTentative de l'impossible, 1928
Sotheby's London, 6/27/89
98$1,346,138Emile Antoine BourdelleHerakles Archer, 1909
Ader, Tajan, 6/20/91
99$1,322,500Auguste Rene Francois RodinLa faunesse, 1906
Christie's New York, 5/11/95
100$1,322,500Edgar DegasBaigneuse s'essuyant, 1900
Sotheby's New York, 5/11/94