Art critic Alastair Sooke tracks down the ten most expensive paintings to sell at auction, and investigates the stories behind the astronomic prices art can reach. Gaining access to the glittering world of the super-rich, Sooke discovers why the planet’s richest people want to spend their millions on art.
Featuring works by Picasso, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Klimt and Rubens, Sooke enters a world of secrecy and rivalry, passion and power. Highlights include a visit to the art-crammed home of millionaire author Lord Archer; a rare interview with the man at the heart of the sale of the most expensive old master of all time; privileged access to auctioneers Christie’s; and a glimpse of the world of the Russian oligarchs.
These revelatory journeys allow Sooke to present an eye-opening view of the super wealthy, and their motivations as collectors of the world’s great art treasures.
HUGH BUCHANAN was born in Edinburgh in 1958 and educated at Edinburgh College of Art. After completing post-graduate studies ‘with distinction’ in1981, he was
awarded travel scholarships to the Middle East and, later, North Italy and the Balkans and he has travelled regularly throughout Europe to visit and paint in watercolour buildings and interiors from the Renaissance to the Baroque. Over several years he worked on commissions for the National Trust and in 1987 was invited by the Prince of Wales to paint a series of interiors of Balmoral, subsequently completing a further sequence at Highgrove in 1994. In 1988 he was commissioned by the House of Commons to paint four interiors in the Palace of Westminster….. more