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    The Artnet Nude 100
by Walter Robinson
Pablo Picasso
Nu au fauteuil noir, 1932
$45,102,500 at Christie's New York, 11/9/99
Pablo Picasso
Les femmes d'Alger (Version "O"), 1955
$31,902,500 at Christie's New York, 11/10/97
Pablo Picasso
Le miroir, 1932
$26,400,000 at Sotheby's New York, 11/15/89
Welcome to the Artnet Nude 100, a listing of the top 100 nudes sold at auction worldwide in the past 12 years as determined by Artnet's unique auction database. We present here a revised and updated version of the original Artnet Nude 100, done in the summer of 1997.

Our methodology was straightforward. We ranked the 2 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.

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.

As is probably the case in the art market overall, Picasso is the winner, hands down, taking the top four places. The number one spot is occupied by Picasso's 1932 Nu au fauteuil noir, sold just the other day at Christie's New York. 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. Note that the painting is from the same period as the previous Artnet Nude 100 record holder, Picasso's Le miroir -- which sold two years ago for almost $20 million less. A total of 25 paintings by Picasso are in the top 100, almost double the number of works by the runner-up -- 13 by Renoir.

  • The price (with premium) of the top 100 is $598,352,196. Although the list includes 100 works, only 33 artists are represented.
  • The ArtNet Nude 100
    arranged according to price

    (click on title to view image and auction results)

    1$45,102,500Pablo PicassoNu au fauteuil noir, 1932
    Christie's New York, 11/9/99
    2$31,902,500Pablo PicassoLes femmes d'Alger (Version "O"), 1955
    Christie's New York, 11/10/97
    3$26,400,000Pablo PicassoLe miroir, 1932
    Sotheby's New York, 11/15/89
    4$24,752,500Pablo PicassoFemme assise dans un fauteuil (Eva), 1913
    Christie's New York, 11/10/97
    5$20,902,500Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse, 1888
    Sotheby's New York, 11/13/97
    6$20,022,500Pablo PicassoLe miroir, 1932
    Christie's New York, 11/7/95
    7$16,777,500Amedeo ModiglianiNu Assis sur un Divan (La Belle Romaine), 1917
    Sotheby's New York 11/11/99
    8$15,400,000Pablo PicassoFamille de l'Arlequin, 1905
    Christie's New York, 11/14/89
    9$14,850,500Henri MatisseLa pose hindou, 1923
    Sotheby's New York, 5/8/95
    10$14,522,500Pablo PicassoNu couché, 1917
    Christie's New York 11/10/97
    11$13,555,636TitianVenus and Adonis, 1555
    Christie's London, 12/31/91
    12$12,432,500Amadeo ModiglianiNu assise au collier, 1917
    Christie's New York, 5/10/95
    13$11,300,000Pierre Auguste RenoirJeune femme se baignant, 1888
    Christie's New York, 5/14/97
    14$11,002,500Pablo PicassoFemme nue, 1909
    Sotheby's New York, 11/17/98
    15$11,002,500Pablo PicassoLes femmes d'Alger (Version "M"), 1955
    Christie's New York, 11/10/97
    16$9,242,500Henri MatisseNu couché (Aurore), 1907
    Christie's New York, 11/10/99
    17$7,942,810Paul GauguinTahitiennes prés d'un ruisseau, 1893
    Sotheby's London, 6/27/95
    18$7,700,000Fernand LégerLe petit déjeuner, 1921
    Christie's New York, 11/5/91
    19$7,262,500Pablo PicassoLes femmes d'Alger (Version "K"), 1955
    Christie's New York, 11/10/97
    20$7,200,000Pablo PicassoDemi-nu à la cruche, 1906
    Christie's New York, 5/14/97
    21$7,175,027Pierre Auguste RenoirAprés le bain, 1900
    Christie's London, 6/26/89
    22$7,152,500Pablo PicassoLes femmes d'Alger (Version "H"), 1955
    Christie's New York, 11/10/97
    23$6,328,890MichelangeloThe Meeting of the Infant Saint John the Baptist..., 1530-35
    Christie's London, 7/6/93
    24$6,270,000Francis BaconTriptych May-June, 1973
    Sotheby's New York, 5/2/89
    25$6,602,500Edgar DegasAprés le bain, 1896
    Sotheby's New York, 5/13/98
    26$6,600,000Edgar DegasAprés le bain, ca. 1883-
    Christie's New York, 11/13/96
    27$6,050,000Pablo PicassoFemme nue assise, 1959
    Sotheby's New York, 11/10/88
    28$5,942,500Paul CézanneUne Modern Olympia (or le pacha), ca. 1870
    Sotheby's New York, 11/13/97
    29$5,502,500Paul CézanneCinq baigneuses sous des arbres, ca. 1875
    Sotheby's New York, 11/13/97
    30$5,077,963Pierre Auguste RenoirLa baigneuse, 1909
    Sotheby's London, 6/28/99
    31$5,500,000Pablo PicassoNus, 1934
    Sotheby's New York, 11/12/97
    32$5,500,000Pablo PicassoLa dormeuse au miroir, 1932
    Christie's New York, 11/14/90
    33$5,061,500Franz MarcDer Wasserfall, 1912
    Sotheby's London, 10/6/99
    34$4,950,000Alberto GiacomettiGrande femme debout I, 1960
    Christie's New York, 11/14/89
    35$4,653,457Lucian FreudNaked portrait with reflection, 1980
    Sotheby's London, 12/9/98
    36$4,628,212Paul CézanneLe cinq baigneurs, 1895
    Christie's London, 11/30/92
    37$4,622,500Pablo PicassoFemme couchée à la méche blonde, 1932
    Christie's New York, 5/10/94
    38$4,180,000Henri MatisseFigure décorative, n.d.
    Sotheby's New York, 5/17/90
    39$3,960,000Alberto GiacomettiGrand femme debout I, 1960
    Christie's New York, 5/12/97
    40$3,900,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse debout, 1887
    Christie's New York, 5/12/97
    41$3,850,000Edgar DegasFemme en peignor, bleu, le torse découvert, 1887-1890
    Sotheby's New York, 10/18/89
    42$3,680,000Kees van DongenFemme au grand chapeau, 1906
    Sotheby's London, 6/24/97
    43$3,670,051Henri MatisseNu au turban (Henriette), 1921
    Christie's London, 6/21/93
    44$3,630,000Willem de KooningPink Lady, 1944
    Sotheby's New York, 5/4/97
    45$3,630,000Alberto GiacomettiGrand femme debout II, 1960
    Christie's New York, 5/12/87
    46$3,613,139Edgar DegasFemme à sa toilette, 1895
    Christie's London, 11/28/88
    47$3,600,000Henri MatisseOdalisque assise, 1929
    Christie's New York, 5/14/97
    48$3,460,751Pierre BonnardNu en hauteur ou femme nue en debout, 1906
    Sotheby's London, 11/28/89
    49$3,300,000Pablo PicassoFemme à chapeau assise, 1971
    Christie's New York, 5/15/90
    50$3,191,500Pierre Auguste RenoirLa baigneuse, 1909
    Sotheby's London, 6/28/99
    51$3,137,966Marc ChagallDaphnis and Chloé 1961
    Sotheby's London, 6/26/90
    52$3,116,399Pablo PicassoFemme me accroupie sur fond vert, 1960
    Christie's London, 4/2/90
    53$3,080,000Pierre Auguste RenoirAprés la bain (Etude de Nu), 1910
    Christie's New York, 11/14/89
    54$3,080,000Alberto GiacomettiGrand femme debout I, 1960
    Christie's New York, 5/12/87
    55$2,992,688Henri MatisseDeux negresses, 1908
    Sotheby's London, 4/4/89
    56$2,970,000VeroneseCupid Disarmed by Venus, n.d.
    Christie's New York, 1/10/90
    57$2,862,500Edgar DegasLe bain, femme vue de dos, ca. 1895
    Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
    58$2,862,500Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse assise, ca. 1882
    Christie's New York, 11/8/99
    59$2,828,882Kees van DongenFemme fatale, 1905
    Christie's London, 12/3/90
    60$2,828,355Pablo PicassoTête de femme, 1906
    Christie's London, 6/26/95
    61$2,811,581Jean Baptiste Camille CorotVenus au bain, 1873-1874
    Sotheby's London, 6/19/90
    62$2,800,000Pablo PicassoFemme nue couchée au collier, 1918
    Sotheby's New York, 11/12/97
    63$2,752,500Roy LichtensteinStill Life with Sculpture, 1974
    Sotheby's New York, 11/17/99
    64$2,752,500Pierre-Auguste RenoirNu assise, ou le repos, 1885
    Christie's New York, 5/5/98
    65$2,750,000Pierre Auguste RenoirFemme nue couchée, 1888
    Sotheby's New York, 11/12/90
    66$2,750,000Gustave MoreauLe poéte et la sirène, 1892-1893
    Sotheby's New York, 10/24/89
    67$2,750,000Pierre Auguste RenoirNu assise, n.d.
    Sotheby's New York, 11/30/90
    68$2,750,000Pierre Auguste RenoirNu couchée (Odalisque couchée) 1914
    Sotheby's New York, 5/17/90
    69$2,642,500William Adolphe BouguereauAlma parens, 1883
    Sotheby's New York, 11/10/98
    70$2,587,500Joachim Anthonisz WtewaelDiana and Actaeon, 1608
    Sotheby's New York, 1/30/97
    71$2,530,000Albert GiacomettiGrand femme debout III, 1960
    Christie's New York, 5/12/87
    82$2,440,000Pierre BonnardNu rose, tête ombrée, 1919
    Sotheby's New York, 10/18/89
    72$2,422,500Lucian FreudEvening in the Studio, 1993
    Sotheby's New York, 11/17/99
    73$2,422,500Pablo PicassoFemme au chapeau assise, 1971
    Christie's New York, 5/12/98
    74$2,406,713Giulio RomanoThe Spinola Holy Family, n.d.
    Christie's London, 12/9/94
    75$2,405,880Pablo PicassoHomme et femme nus, 1968
    Sotheby's London, 12/8/97
    76$2,369,176Bartolome-Esteban MurilloThe Vision of St. Francis of Paola, 1665-1670
    Sotheby's London, 12/6/89
    77$2,367,500Edgar DegasAprés le bain (femme nue couchée), ca. 1885
    Christie's New York, 11/7/95
    78$2,278,973Ernst Ludwig KirchnerZwei nackte Frauen im Wald, 1909
    Christie's London, 10/7/99
    79$2,230,445Paul CézanneLes baigneurs, n.d.
    Sotheby's London, 11/27/95
    80$2,202,500Pablo PicassoBuste de femme, ca. 1905-06
    Sotheby's New York, 11/11/99
    81$2,200,000Jean-Leon GéromeBathsheba, n.d.
    Sotheby's New York, 2/28/90
    83$2,200,000Pierre Auguste RenoirDeux baigneuses, 1896
    Christie's New York, 5/10/89
    84$2,200,000Aristide MaillolLes trois nymphes, 1930-1937
    Sotheby's New York, 11/6/91
    85$2,200,000Henri MatisseNu debout devant la cheminée, 1936
    Sotheby's New York, 5/13/92
    86$2,179,218Pablo PicassoFemme nue, 1965
    Loudmer Sep., 3/25/90
    87$2,092,500Pablo PicassoNu couché, 1933
    Christie's New York, 11/10/99
    88$2,092,500Edgar DegasLa toilette, 1884-1886
    Sotheby's New York, 5/13/92
    89$2,090,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse, 1905
    Christie's New York, 5/10/89
    90$1,982,500Tamara de LempickaAdam and Eve, 1932
    Christie's New York, 3/3/94
    91$1,982,500Auguste Rene Francois RodinPsyché, regardent l'Amour, 1899
    Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
    92$1,980,000Alberto GiacomettiFemme debout, 1958
    Christie's New York, 11/14/89
    93$1,980,000Pablo PicassoDeux femmes nues et tête de femme, 1933
    Christie's New York, 11/13/89
    94$1,980,000Pierre Auguste RenoirBaigneuse debout, 1896
    Sotheby's New York, 5/14/85
    95$1,951,484Jean Baptiste Camille CorotDiane au bain-la Source, 1869-1870
    Sotheby's London, 11/29/88
    96$1,927,500Henri de Toulouse-LautrecLe lit, 1898
    Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95
    97$1,925,000Pablo PicassoFemme nue accroupie sur fond vert, n.d.
    Christie's London, 4/2/90
    98$1,925,000Rene MagritteLa philosophie dans le boudoir, 1947
    Sotheby's New York, 11/13/90
    99$1,872,500Pablo PicassoNu debout et femme assise, 1939
    Christie's New York, 5/11/95
    100$1,872,500Pablo PicassoFemme dans un fauteuil, 1932
    Sotheby's New York, 11/8/95

    WALTER ROBINSON is editor of Artnet Magazine.