With 52.9 million euros bid for his "La Jeune fille sophistiquee (Portrait de Nancy Cunard)," Constantin Brancusi, the first modern sculptor, is topping the ranks of the bestselling 100 Romanian art masters in domestic and international auctions drawn up by auction house Artmark.This only existing example in brass of Brancusi's stylised portrait of the Anglo-American heiress, political activitst and writer Nancy Cunard sold for 52,905,681 euros in New York by Christie's auction house in 2018.
On the second place is Adrian Ghenie, a contemporary Romanian painter, whose work "Nickelodeon" fetched 7,977,000 euros at a Christie's auction in London in October 2016.
The third place is taken by surrealist painter Victor Brauner, for his "The Strange Case of Mr. K" that sold for 700,000 euros in Paris, in April 2003.
Next are Carol Popp de Szathmari, with "Typologies and costumes," sold at a Sotheby's auction in London, in 1999, for 624,699 euros; Dimitrie Chiparus, with "Les girls" that fetched 590,240 euros at a Sotheby's auction in New York in 2007; Reuven Rubin, with "The Road to Meron" sold for 475,592 euros (Sotheby's in New York, in 2015); Andrei Cadere, of Polish origin, with "Untitled (A1200030)" selling for 420,000 euros (De Vuys, Lokeren, in 2019); Vilmos Aba-Novak, of Hungarian origin, with "The Great Circus" selling for 381,600 euros (Virag Judit, Budapest); Amedeo Preziosi, of Maltese origin, with "Souvenir" that fetched 362,112 euros (Bonhams, London, in 2009).
According to Artmark, the Romanian art market grew almost eight times in the last five years (since 2016), in terms of the number of collectors as reflected in participants in auctions organized in Romania - currently only online.
The highest bidding work of art on auction in Romania is "Tarancuta cu basma alba" (Female peasant in a white headscarf) by Nicolae Grigorescu, that fetched 340,000 euros, in 2018, at an Artmark auction. The previous record belonged also to Grigorescu, a work bought for 320,000 euros in 2016. Also topping the preferences of Romanian collectors is Stefan Luchian, whose work "Two Girls" was sold in 2013 for 300,000 euros. Another work sold for a large sum is "Nud in iatac" (Female nude in the boudoir) by Nicolae Tonitza. The work, coming from the returned collection of Dr. Iosif Dona, was awarded, in 2011, for 290,000 euros.