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Thursday, 8 December 2016


Pictures of animals such as mammoths, bison and deer first appeared on cave walls in places such as Lascaux in France in 30,000 BC.

Cave painting of aurochs, horses, and deer at Lascaux

The first painting to be auctioned was Antonio Correggio's The Magdalen Reading, which was sold for 13,000 ducats ($6,500) to Augustus, king of Poland, and Elector of Saxony in 1746. He mounted it in a silver frame, adorned with jewels, and kept it locked in a case in his private apartment.

The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up, is an oil painting by the English artist Joseph Mallord William Turner. It was painted in 1838 and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1839. In 2005, The Fighting Temeraire was voted the UK's favorite painting in a poll organised by BBC Radio 4's Today program.

The painting depicts the 98-gun ship HMS Temeraire, which played a distinguished role in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, being towed by a paddle-wheel steam tug towards its final berth in 1838 to be broken up for scrap. Turner's painting achieved widespread critical acclaim, and accolades from the likes of John Ruskin and William Makepeace Thackeray. It was Turner's particular favourite, he only lent it once and refused to ever do so again. The English landscape artist also refused to sell it at any price, and on his death bequeathed it to the nation. It hangs today in the National Gallery,

The Fighting Temeraire. 1839, by Joseph Mallord William Turner

From 1912 to 1948, painting was an Olympic event. In 1924, Jack Yeats, brother of the poet W. B. Yeats, took the silver, Ireland’s first-ever Olympic medal.

In 2006 casino mogul Steve Wynn was set to conduct the largest art transaction in history by selling Picasso's Le Rêve for $139 million. The day before the transaction was set to take place Wynn accidentally stuck his elbow through the painting.

The most expensive painting ever is believed to be French artist Paul Gauguin's oil painting of two Tahitian girls, Nafea Faa Ipoipo, or When Will You Marry? It was sold privately by the family of Rudolf Staechelin in February 2015 to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani for $300m (£197m).

The current record price of $300 million paid was matched by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning's 1955 work Interchange, which was sold by the David Geffen Foundation to Hedge fund investor Kenneth C. Griffin in September 2015.

More Picasso paintings have been stolen than those of any other artist.

Pablo Picasso's 1955 work Les Femmes d’Alger (Women Of Algiers) became the most expensive painting to sell at an auction, when it was sold for $179.4 million (£119 million) at Christie's in New York in May 2015.

Les femmes d’Alger, Picasso Wikipedia

Covering the story of the sale of Les Femmes d’Alger, a New York TV station was ridiculed by art lovers when it blurred out the Cubist depictions of breasts so as not to offend its viewers.

The record was beaten two and half years later, by Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of ChristSalvator Mundi, which sold for  $450.3 million (£341 million) on November 15, 2017.

Here is a list of songs inspired by paintings.

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