Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Most Expensive Old Master Works Sold at Auction

Peter Paul Rubens, Massacre of the Innocents (1611–12); Prize Realized: £49.5 million ($76.5 million)
These days, Pablo Picasso, Gerhard Richter, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, and a host of other familiar names dominate at auction. But it wasn’t always so. Before the last couple decades, the Old Masters category—featuring artists who were active between the 14th and 18th centuries—was all anyone could talk about. In July 2002, Rubens’s rediscovered painting Massacre of the Innocents, which depicts the Biblical scene of a violent massacre in Bethlehem, fetched a price of £49.5 million ($76.5 million) at Sotheby’s. [More