Art is beauty, expression, reflection… but also an investment. It is a proven excellent option, not only for large capital refuge. Whoever makes a good purchase of modern art will be able to multiply its value over the years. Investing in art makes economic sense and brings joy.
The piece of art that has been the most revalued in the world market of modern art is Les femmes d’Alger by Pablo Ruiz Picasso, inspired by Eugene Delacroix’s painting, Women of Algiers in their Apartment, currently exhibited in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
In 1832, Delacroix travelled to Morocco in a convoy organised by the French government. During his stay he had the privilege to contemplate the inside of a harem, and lived one of the most beautiful experiences according to his words. Something that until then very few Westerners had managed to do.
Upon his return to Paris, in 1834, Delacroix painted his most famous painting while recalling those harem’s images. Most likely, the name of this painting sounds familiar to you, and it is because this work of art inspired many artists of later generations that made their own versions of it. Among them: Matisse and Picasso.
Picasso began painting the series Les femmes d’Alger after Matisse’s death. “When Matisse died, he left me as a legacy to his odalisques,” said Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz Picasso, jokingly referring to the women harems painted by his friend and rival.
Picasso’s work Les femmes d’Alger is a series of 15 paintings and several drawings. The complete series of the Spanish cubist painter was sold to Victor and Sally Ganz at the Louise Leiris gallery in Paris and was valued at $ 212,500. It was June 1956.
Each one of these 15 pieces represented a different version and was titled with a letter of the alphabet, from A to O. After some years, the buyers sold ten paintings of the series to the Saidenberg gallery, keeping in their possession the versions “C”, “H “,” K “,” M “and” O “.
The last one in the series, the version “O”, created in 1955, was auctioned in 1997 at Christie’s in New York and waspurchased by the British art marchand Libby Howie. She was acting as an agent for a Saudi art collector whose name is unknown. The main fact is the price paid for it: $ 31.9 million.
Eighteen years later, in 2015, Les femmes d’Alger version O was auctioned again at the same Christie’s in New York, and it was assigned with a record starting price of $ 140 million. Finally, it was sold for $ 179.4 million, including expenses, the highest price ever paid for a piece of art at auction. It was bought by the former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani. The version “O” has been revalued more than 4,500 times over 60 years.
However, the art piece’s price record was achieved by two paintings of abstract expressionism: Interchange by Willem de Kooning, and Number 17A by Jackson Pollock, which were sold to the billionaire Ken Griffin. He acquired both of them for a value of $ 500 million on the same day. Two hundred and 300, respectively.
Followed by another painting and sculptures, Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon, a triptych painted in 1969, was sold in 2013 by Sheikha Al-Mayassa, Sheikha of Qatar for $ 142.4 million.
The bronze sculpture series, L’Homme qui marche by artist Alberto Giacometti from 1961, was sold to an unknown buyer who paid $141.2 million for it in 2015. That was a good investment, given that the seller had bought it five years earlier for $ 37 million cheaper. Investors who get the right piece at the right time, get an undeniable prize on the modern art treasures.
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