Art

Pablo Picasso’s “The Dream” Most Popular Oil Painting in 2012

The popular online art gallery, overstockArt.com, revealed today its annual Top 10 Oil Paintings rankings for 2012, topping the list is Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece “The Dream.” This is the first time in the list’s seven-year history for a work of art by Picasso to come in first. Other artists named on the 2012 list include Wassily Kandinsky, Gustav Klimt, Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

Picasso - The DreamPicasso had a spectacular year with his art taking three spots in overstockArt.com’s annual list of the top best-selling oil paintings. “The Dream” snatched the title of the most popular oil painting of 2012 from Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” which has placed first on the list in four of the past seven years. His portrait “Blue Nude” is new to the list this year and his work of art “The Old Guitarist” moved up from tenth place on the 2011 list to ninth place this year.

The top 10 oil paintings sold online in 2012 according to overstockArt.com’s statistics are:

  1. The Dream” – Pablo Picasso
  2. Starry Night” – Vincent van Gogh
  3. Café Terrace at Night” – Vincent van Gogh
  4. Branches of an Almond Tree in Blossom” – Vincent van Gogh
  5. The Kiss” – Gustav Klimt
  6. Garden Path at Giverny” – Claude Monet
  7. Water Lilies” – Claude Monet
  8. Blue Nude” – Pablo Picasso
  9. The Old Guitarist” – Pablo Picasso
  10. Farbstudie Quadrate (Color Study of Squares)” – Wassily Kandinsky

“Picasso is unarguably one of the most prolific and influential artists of the 20th century,” said David Sasson, CEO of overstockArt.com. “To this day, his masterpieces are among the most prized and sought after works of art by collectors and museums worldwide. Picasso’s paintings often sell for millions.”

In fact, Picasso’s famed painting, “The Dream” (Le Rêve in French) was once slated to be the highest selling work of art in history. The portrait of Picasso’s mistress Marie-Therese Walter, originally created in 1932, became the sixth most expensive painting ever sold when it fetched $48.4 million at a Christie’s auction. By 2006, then owner, casino magnate Steve Wynn, was planning to sell the painting for $139 million – nearly three times the 1997 amount. Unfortunately, while showing the painting to friends, who included Barbara Walters and screenwriters Nora Ephron and Nicholas Pileggi, Wynn accidentally put his elbow through the painting, creating a 6-inch tear in the masterpiece. After a $90,000 repair, the refurbished portrait was re-valued at $85 million. Wynn took the accident as a sign not to sell the artwork. To this day, “The Dream” remains in the Wynn collection.

“There is a very distinct correlation between sales and media placement of oil paintings,” Sasson stated. “The ill-fated accident with “The Dream” is one example of this, as is the addition of Monet’s “Water Lilies” to the Top 10 list this year.”

“Water Lilies” by Monet is making its first appearance on the annual Top 10 this year. Actually a series of approximately 250 oil paintings by French Impressionist, “Water Lilies” became a hot topic of conversation when a work from the series sold for more than $43 million at a Christie’s auction in November 2012. The work dates from 1905, the year Monet began a feverish phase of paintings depicting his garden’s lily pond in Giverny, France. The work that was sold is considered among the best of the series.

The Top 10 list is released annually due to popular demand, “Just like interior decorators, consumers and companies care about Pantone’s annual color of the year, they want to know what décor accessories are hot,” said Sasson. “Our annual Top 10 list makes it easy to stay on top of the trends and find out which oil paintings are most desirable in the marketplace.”

In 2012 overstockArt.com sold more than 100,000 hand painted oil painting reproductions, frames, fine art canvas prints and decorative ceramic tiles. They are one of the web’s most successful distributors of wall décor items with the most comprehensive selection of hand painted reproduction oil paintings, frames, and ceramic art tiles to choose from in the online oil painting industry.

Amitai Sasson

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of overstockArt.com is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to ArtCorner.com as Chief editor and writer.