Guinness Book of…Art Records?

What’s the most famous art piece in the world?

That was the question that initiated this post. Ironically, I can’t answer that question and it’s probably not even an answerable question. However, I did find out some interesting things and most of these things came from the Guinness Book of World Records.

And no, we’re not going to talk about the longest fingernail or the shortest man in the world (sorry if I disappointed you!). We’re going to highlight some Guinness records in the art world. Who’d-a-thunk-it?

The highest known prices paid for a painting (consumer price index inflation-adjusted value):
Thanks Wikipedia for the number crunching!

1.     $151.8 million “No. 5” Jackson Pollock (1948), bought in 2006

"No. 5" by Jackson Pollock

2.    $149.1 million “Woman III” Willem de Kooning (1953), bought in 2006

"Woman III" by Willem de Kooning

3.    $145.3 million “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” Gustav Klimt (1907), bought in 2006

"Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I" by Gustav Klimt

4.    $139.5 million “Portrait of Dr. Gachet” Vincent van Gogh (1890), bought in 1990

"Portrait of Dr. Gachet" by Vincent van Gogh

5.    $132.0 million “Bal du moulin de la Galette” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1876), bought in 1990

"Bal du moulin de la Galette" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Now for some odd records:

What’s the most batteries in a work of art you ask? Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of this beast.

“By May 2003, Gilberto Macías Enríquez of Nuevo León, Mexico constructed a model of the Vatican made entirely with 21,313 button-shaped batteries. His aim is to make people aware of the high toxicity of batteries by recycling them.”

The most expensive materials used in a piece of contemporary art?

“The most expensive contemporary artwork, in terms of the value of its raw materials, is For the Love of God, created from £12 million ($23.7 million) worth of materials in 2007 by Damien Hirst (UK), in collaboration with the British jewellery company, Bentley & Skinner.”

Damien Hirst's "For the Love of God"

The world’s largest photo mosaic?

“A portrait of a poet from Yamaguchi Prefecture, made of 120,000 photos of smiling faces, was certified as the world’s largest photo mosaic by the Guinness Book of World Records. The 31.78-meter-long, 42.82-meter-wide picture of Misuzu Kaneko, who was born in Nagato, Yamaguchi, in 1903, was created by the local chamber of commerce to promote the city.”

Yamaguchi Prefecture

The largest chalk painting by one artist?

“The largest chalk painting by an individual measuring 10 m by 5 m (34 ft by 17 ft 6 in) was created by street chalk artist Tracy Lee Stum (USA) and was a reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper.'”

Stum's chalk art

I guess this is enough weird fun for now. But I’m willing to do some more research on this and share my findings if you are interested!


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