Saturday, August 25, 2012

Orange, Red, Yellow - Mark Rothko

Price in US $ - 86 million

Orange, Red, Yellow, a 1961 Color Field painting by Mark Rothko, has become the most expensive post-war work sold at auction. The painting's trio of orange and yellow rectangles bobbing atop a cherry-red background forms a palette that's as eye-catching as a sunset or a Popsicle. Rothko's shimmering "colour field" paintings have never been as attention grabbing as his macho Action Painting contemporaries Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock.

These subtly spiritual works, when properly lit, are thought to offer a similar lofty experience that one gets in a place of worship, like a cathedral. Only their refusal to associate with language, or any period in art history, mean they transcend the specificity of religion.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Portrait of Alfonso d'Avalos, Marquis of Vasto, in Armor with a Page - Titian

Price in US $ - 70 million

Titian's Portrait of Alfonso d'Avalos (Governor of Milan and commander general of imperial forces in Italy under the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V), painted in Bologna in the winter of 1533, signals the inception of one of the most influential prototypes in the history of Western art-the standing state portrait. Titian, along with Raphael, set the standard for court portraiture during the subsequent development of Western painting. This portrait heralds such remarkable later paintings as Anthony van Dyck's Portrait of Agostino Pallavicini, Domenico Fetti's Portrait of a Man with a Sheet of Music, and Guercino's Pope Gregory XV.