Photography by Mario Tama. Sourced from Getty Images.

What are the top paintings sold in 2016? According to the most recent TEFAF Art Market Reportthe top five artworks sold at auction in 2016 were sold at prices between $57 million – $82 million from artists such as Picasso, Monet, and Jean-Michel Basquat. Read all about the nail-biting auctions and the expensive bids below.

“Muele” by Monet

Unframed “Muele” painting by Claude Monet, 1891.

The most expensive artwork sold is also the most expensive painting sold by the artist. The “Muele” painting by Claude Monet sold at Christie’s New York Auction House on November 16, 2016 for $81.4 million. It was expected to sell at $45 million, but over the 14 minute auction, the prices kept rising until an anonymous bidder won the bid battle. The last time it was sold was in 1999 for $12 million, which means its value increased 578% in 17 years.

“Untitled XXV” by Willem De Kooning

Auction of “Untitled XXV” at Christie’s New York.

This 7 x 6.5 feet painting of post-war contemporary art sold at Christie’s in New York for $66.3 million to an anonymous bidder. It was sold ten years ago for $27.1 million and Christie’s initially valued it at $40 million in November 2016.

“Femme Assise” by Pablo Picasso

“Femme Assise” by Pablo Picasso at Sothbey’s London.

Pablo Picasso’s artwork that was painted in Spain during the summer of 1909 was auctioned off for a high price in June 2016 – making it the most expensive cubism painting sold at auction. The piece has not been sold since 1973, but was bought in 2016 for $63.7 million at Sothbey’s in London. The painting depicts Picasso’s lover Fernande Olivier in a cubism style.

“Lot and His Daughters” by Peter Paul Ruben

Unframed “Lot and His Daughters” painting by Peter Paul Ruben, 1613-1614.

This 17th century painting was sold at Christie’s Auction House in London after a 14 minute bid battle between four bidders. The final bid of $58 million made the artwork the most expensive artwork of an Old Master painting. The work was sold in its Blenheim frame and had been unseen in public for a century.

“Untitled” by Jean-Michel Basquiat

The “Untitled” painting displayed for the media behind a Sotheby’s official. Photography by Don Emmert for Getty Images.

Number five on the list has also been recently sold in 2017. The “Untitled” painting was sold at Christie’s New York in May 2016 for $57.2 million. Although, the painting was also sold in May of 2017 for a record breaking $110.5 million  – the most expensive American painting to date.

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