You’ve just won £50 million, you’re feeling pretty good about life. But, hang on, you haven’t prepared for this, you don’t know what art you’re going to buy! The horror.
After the news that two people have each scooped around £50 million on the Euromillions this weekend, we’ve come to the rescue with a list of the art you should buy if you’ve just won the lottery.
You could be in the mood for a single ‘statement’ piece that will really get the neighbour’s tongues wagging, and also leave you with a little change. If that is the case, the following should give you an idea of some of the masterpieces comfortably within your budget:
Peter Paul Rubens – The Massacre of the Innocents
Possibly not one for the children’s bedroom, but this 1611 work by the old master is one of his most of famous biblical depictions.
Jeff Koons – Balloon Dog (Orange)
If you really want to draw attention to yourself, this contemporary artist’s, pop art inspired, giant, reflective sculpture of a balloon dog is perfect.
J M W Turner – Rome, From Mount Aventine
You are officially the most grown-up grown up, when you own a Turner. The master of all things Light, is at his finest here.
If the winners felt so inclined, they could pool their resources and pick up any of these incredible pieces, though shared custody between Ireland and France might be a touch inconvenient, it’ll be worth it.
Caravaggio – The Lute Player
By the Baroque master of light and shadows, this portrait is one of his most famous compositions. Painted in 1596, there are three ‘Lute Players’ in existence, you’re allowed one.
Roy Lichtenstein – Nurse
Complete with his trademark, comic book style, ben-day dots, Nurse, was painted at the height of this revolutionary pop artist’s career.
Mark Rothko – Orange, Red, Yellow
The abstract expressionist magically uses rectangular blocks of colour to incredibly powerful effect.
If, however, you’re curious to see how many works by some of the most famous artists in history you can get for your £50 million budget, you will find the following list incredibly helpful. You’d have barely any change left but that wouldn’t matter, you’d have all of this:
William Hogarth – Rakes Progress (all eight)
Painted between 1732-33 this is still a good reminder of the downfalls of a large fortune. It was purchased by Mrs Soane for 570 guinneas in 1802, you will have to give up a little more of your fortune, and The Soane museum might need a little persuading, but it’s a necessary purchase for any self-aware multi-millionaire.
David Hockney – A Bigger Splash
You can afford a Hockney now, so why not get the most iconic. This pool-side masterpiece was painted in California in 1967 and could be yours to put in your own Californian villa, if you chose not to buy the rest of this list …
Andy Warhol – Details of Renaissance Paintings (Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482)
Botticelli’s Birth of Venus may still be out of your grasp, but Andy Warhol’s colourful pop art interpretation is a steal.
Tracey Emin – My Bed
You’ve got millions in the bank, so you’re probably going to want to get a new bed. Why not get a Turner Prize winning one? You will have to sleep in the mess if you want it to retain its value though…
Jeff Koons – Dolphin
At a snip of the price of one of his Balloon Dogs, why would you not buy his shiny sculpture of an inflatable dolphin?
Albrecht Dürer – The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
For some of the change in your back pocket you can have one of the most famous woodcuts by the German renaissance painter and printmaker, this piece of history dates back to 1497-8.
Salvador Dali – Nude on the Plain of Rosas
He’s renowned as the pinnacle of the surreal, so if you can have a Dali, why would you not? This was painted in 1942 while Dali was in America, fleeing from the war in Europe and is full of symbolism you can while away the hours trying to decipher.
Pieter Bruegel the Elder – Hunters in the Snow (Winter)
After Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Portrait, and at a fraction of the price, this is one of the most iconic Netherlandish paintings well within your budget.
Louise Bourgeois – Arch of Hysteria
She is most famous for her enormous, looming sculpture Spider, but with this beautiful bronze sculpture hanging from your ceiling with a golden umbilical chord, Bourgeois offers an exciting alternative to chandeliers.
Frida Khalo – Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird
Aside from the look from Mona Lisa, Kahlo’s penetrating stare in her self-portraits is one of the most memorable. This was painted in 1940, and is one of Khalo’s most famous works – pictured above.
Grayson Perry – The Vanity Of Small Differences
You should always measure your spending however much money you have, so another practical piece would be one of Perry’s Hogarth inspired tapestries, that could easily be adapted as a blanket for your new Turner Prize winning bed.
Damien Hirst – The Golden Calf
You were thinking you had quite a lot of money left, you did. But now you’re going to buy a Damien Hirst, because you can. His works are as notoriously expensive as they are controversial, this work of a preserved calf on a marble plinth sold for £10.3 million in 2008, and it could be yours to put in the guest room (to scare off the in-laws). Worst comes to worst you just charge people £5 to see it.
Total = £49,983,000
Sadly, no one can afford the Mona Lisa.
* Prices are estimates from previous sales or from sales of similar works by the same artist