The secret world of art collectors

From old masters to contemporary art, including modern art and the impressionists, “The most expensive (Private) Museum in the world”, presents the sales records of the artists chosen by Pierre and Arnaud Cornette of Saint-Cyr.

Be careful, these are not the 100 most expensive works of art in the world because 60 of the 100 record works were created by… 8 artists: Picasso, Bacon, Klimt, Monet, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Cézanne, and Warhol.

“The record prices generate much comment and fuel the mistaken image of an art market in the hands of speculators. This is not the case. Each of these paintings, each of these sculptures come from large collections, many were acquired at a time when their value was very different. “

Some numbers? Yes of course!

  • The massacre of the innocent by Pierre Paul Rubens sold on July 10, 2020, to Canadian billionaire Kenneth Thomson for $75,930,440 (generous, Mr. Thomson offered it to the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto).
  • Le bassin aux nymphéas by Claude Monet, sold on June 24, 2008, for $80,379,591 by the heirs of J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller to an art dealer on behalf of an unknown client.
  • Anniversaire by Marc Chagall, sold on May 11, 1990, at a price of $10,850,000 dollars.
  • White Center by Mark Rothko, sold May 15, 2007, for $72,840,000, offered for sale by David and Peggy Rockefeller, who bought it in 1960 for $10,000. A spectacular auction won by the Emir of Qatar.


Le musée (privé) le plus cher du monde, Pierre & Arnaud Cornette de Saint Cyr, My Big Geneva

“All of these artists have changed the world, the art world, the way we see it, but also our perception of the universe. Like the seismic sensors, the great artists detect before us the changes of our civilization. Like the ancient Pythia, they reveal them, through their own language.”

Auctioneer Pierre Cornette de Saint-Cyr, born in Morocco, was president of the Palais de Tokyo. Needless to say, he is an avid collector. For more than 40 years, this passionate collector has been working on the art market in France and around the world. His son, Arnaud, made the auction house – Cornette de Saint Cyr – what it is today.

PS: thank you, Mr. Apollo, I did recognize what you call your “madness” 🙂

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