Name the Price: Masterpieces

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

Most of the art world's extant masterpieces are firmly in the hands of major museums. Only occasionally do privately owned pieces change hands. Can you guess how wide wallets opened when these major work of art went up for sale?

Although never officially confirmed, the highest sum believed to have ever been paid for a painting was about $140 million, as of February 2010. Who painted this pricey piece of art?

It's widely suspected that Jackson Pollock's "No. 5, 1948" fetched around $140 million when it was sold privately by entertainment mogul David Geffen in 2006.


Geffen also sold a Jasper Johns' piece that year (just not for quite so much) called "False Start." How much did that piece fetch?

According to art world buzz, Johns' colorful 1959 painting "False Start" was sold privately for $80 million. That's up quite a bit from the $17 million it fetched at auction in 1988.


The hotly contested Gustav Klimt painting, "Adele Bloch-Bauer I," was reportedly sold to Ronald Lauder for how many millions?

The striking portrait allegedly set Lauder back $135 million. It now hangs in his Fifth Avenue museum, the Neue Galerie.


The life-size "L'Homme qui marche I," a bronze by Alberto Giacometti, hit the auction block in February 2010 and inched up the world record for a piece sold at auction. How much did it go for?

The lanky "L'Homme qui marche I" ("Walking Man I")" sold for a little more than $104 million at a Sotheby's auction to an anonymous bidder participating by telephone.


Which of these Van Gogh masterpieces auctioned off for just shy of $54 million in 1987?

"Irises" it is. "Sunflowers" was also auctioned off in 1987, but for just $39.9 million. "Irises" was an auction record at the time, but it was eventually beaten out by "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" in 1990, which went for $82.5 million.


Mark Rothko's 1950 painting "White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose)" was bought by David Rockefeller in 1960 for less than $10,000. How high did the bidding go when it was auctioned off in 2007?

Rockefeller did well -- the final price tag on his Rothko was close to $73 million. Prior to the auction, Sotheby's experts predicted the bidding would only reach between $40 and $50 million.


"Dora Maar With Cat" had been out of the public eye for more than 40 years when she was auctioned off in 2006, but unfortunately for Pablo Picasso fans, she was whisked away in a hurry. How much money did her mysterious new owner end up paying?

The art world was in a frenzy after this 1941 Picasso portrait was snapped up for a tad more than $95 million, by an unfamiliar bidder in their midst. Most suspect he was bidding on behalf of the actual buyer, who remains publicly unidentified to this day.


In tune with other private transactions, the details surrounding the sale of Andy Warhol's "Eight Elvises" are a bit murky, but the general assumption is that the work sold for how many dollars?

It was another mystery buyer who snapped up this unique painting when it finally went on the market after about 40 years, but it is generally assumed that he or she paid at least $100 million for it.


Warhol collaborated with another painter, Jean-Michel Basquiat, several times in the 1980s. In 2007, at the same show that saw Rockefeller's Rothko auctioned off, how much did a solo piece by Basquiat sell for?

The painting might have no name, but that's not to say it doesn't have a price tag. At the 2007 auction, Basquiat's piece sold for $14.6 million -- close to three times the amount of his previous best.


Francis Bacon's 1976 triptych exceeded hammer-price expectations and beat out his last record by more than $30 million. How much money did it sell for?

Bacon's previous high-earner sold for more than $52 million -- but the 1976 triptych brought in more than $86 million when it hit the auction block in 2008.


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