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The 'Most Wanted' Works of Art

When an old master's painting fetches tens of millions on the auction block, it makes headlines around the world. But at any given time, a handful of artworks sought by art dealers and collectors are unavailable at any price. NPR's Renee Montagne talks to Kelly Devine Thomas of ARTnews magazine about the "most wanted" works of art.

Thomas' article in the magazine's November issue lists Paul Cézanne's The Cardplayers among the most sought-after works. It was part of a series painted in 1892-93. All of the other works in the series are held by museums, but this one is owned by shipping magnate George Embiricos, making it more valuable. "Because it's the only one left in private hands, it's going to get a price, we've been told, of close to $100 million," Thomas says.

Jackson Pollock's Lucifer, an early example of the artist's drip paintings, may also fetch up to $100 million, she says. "It's a gorgeous large painting that any collector would die to have."

Following is a list of the "10 most wanted works of art," according to ARTnews magazine. Links to images of some of the artworks are at the bottom of this page.

Ten 'Most Wanted' Works of Art

• Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space (1926), Collection of Mary and Jon Shirley, Seattle

• Paul Cézanne, The Cardplayers (1892-93), Collection of George Embicos, Jouxtens and Gstaad

• Willem de Kooning, The Time of the Fire (1956), Collection of Agnes Gund, New York

• Marcel Duchamp, L.H.O.O.Q. (1919), Private Collection, Geneva

• Paul Gaugin, Bathers (1902), Collection of Steve Wynn, Las Vegas

• Jasper Johns, Diver (1962), Collection of Norman Braman, Miami

• Brice Marden, The Muses (1991-93), Daros Foundation, Zurich

• Jackson Pollock, Lucifer (1947), Anderson Collection, San Francisco

• Rembrandt van Rijn, Jan Six (1654), Six Foundation, Amsterdam

• Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet (1890), anonymous private collection

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