Art and photography - 2015 auction review

The art market's upward growth shows no signs of stalling. This has been another bumper year, with a phenomenal $179.3m world record for Picasso's La Femme d'Alger (Version 'O') in May.

New records were also set in the field of sculpture and for a range of artists across the board.

Things look very positive for next year, as we edge ever closer to that landmark $200m sale.

Top art and photography sale of 2015

Picasso Algiers Christies
Femme d'Alger was inspired by the work of Picasso's recently departed friend Matisse

This year belonged to Picasso, after his La Femme d'Alger (Version 'O') sold for a world record $179.3m at Christie's in May.

The painting smashed the previous record, set at $142m for Francis Bacon's Three Studies for a Portrait of Lucian Freud in 2013, by 26.2%.

It's among the largest paintings by Picasso still on the market, making it a seriously attractive proposition for collectors.

2015's most important art and photography sales

Giacometti Pointing Christies
Giacometti's Pointing Man set a new record for a sculpture at auction

A new world record was set for a sculpture at auction when Giacometti's iconic Pointing Man crossed the block at Christie's in May. It realised $141.3m.

Modigliani's Nu Couche became the second most valuable painting ever sold at auction when it achieved $170.4m at Christie's New York in November. It's an impressive result for a relatively niche artist.

Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) was a key painter of the German renaissance. His Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) set a new £9.3m ($14.4m) record for his work at Christie's in July.

Van Gogh's  L'Allee des Alyscamps (1888) was another of the year's top sales, achieving $66.3m at Sotheby's in May.

The most unusual art sale of 2015

Banksy Silent Majority
Banksy painted Silent Majority at the 1998 Glastonbury Festival

A trailer painted by Banksy during the 1998 Glastonbury Festival made $455,500 in a June sale at Digard Auction in Paris.

The consigner was a traveller active in the UK free party scene who had been living in the trailer for many years.

It was a breakout year for�Ǫ

Villhelm Hammershoi's Strandgarde 30 set a new auction record for a piece of Danish art this year, selling for £2m ($3.1m) at Sotheby's London in May.

The previous record for his work was £1.7m ($2.6m), set in 2012, indicating a growing interest in his unique work.

It was a year to forget for�Ǫ

English football, after a monument by Maurizio Cattelan listing England's failures at the World Cup since its inception was sold for £425,000 ($640,071) at Sotheby's London.

Unsurprisingly it was bought by a French bidder.

One you may have missed

In January a painting by the late New Orleans artist George Rodrigue valued at $250,000 was stolen from his gallery in the city.

The following day it was recovered by local punk band Stereo Fire Empire, who discovered it by some bins.

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