The 10 Highest Prices for Art at Auction in July

The top 10 most expensive works of fine art sold at auction in July 2014 went for a total of over $130.8 million, according to the artnet Price Database. The list is a healthy mix of contemporary works like Peter Doig's Gasthof, alongside Andy Warhol's  Self-Portrait (Fright Wig), and Johannes Vermeer's Saint Praxedis.

It's been a notably good summer for Doig—as you may recall, his Country-rock (wing-mirror) (1999) was featured prominently on last month's price list, having hammered quickly at £7.5 million ($12,770,700) at Sotheby's, while Gasthof came in at second place for this month's sales.

The top lot from this month's sales is Francis Bacon's Study for Head of Lucian Freud, which sold at Christie's London postwar and contemporary evening auction on July 1st. Coline Milliard, artnet News' European Market editor in London, was in attendance and had this to say about the sale of the painting:

[Study for Head of Lucian Freud] had entered Roald Dahl's collection in 1967, when Britain's revered writer of children's books bought the portrait of Bacon's then-friend Freud at Marlborough Fine Art with the proceeds from his most famous work, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Despite the ongoing Bacon craze­­—which saw the artist's Three Studies of Lucian Freud break all auction records when it sold for $142 million at Christie's last November—the less spectacular Head 1 (1958) failed to find a buyer. It had been tagged with a pre-sale estimate of £2.5–3.5 million (roughly $4.3–6 million).