Demi, Jerry and the battle of the A-list art sales

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The pair are offloading their paintings, but whose will prove to be worth the most?

The female subject has an affectionate smile and a loving gaze. She is infatuated with a much younger man, whom she holds adoringly. But this isn't a self-composed photograph posted on Twitter of Hollywood actress Demi Moore and toyboy husband Ashton Kutcher. It's part of Moore's art collection. And she's bored with it.

Until now, William Bouguereau's Frere et Soeur, a typically sentimental 19th-century painting of a young woman hoisting up her baby brother, has been one of the most treasured adornments in Moore's ostentatious 1950s pad in the Hollywood Hills.

But Moore and Kutcher now hope to renovate their house, and the traditional nature of Bouguereau's work no longer fits their style. Most people overhauling their home would have a car-boot sale. When Moore auctions the Bouguereau, and another 19th-century work by the Belgian painter Alfred Stevens at Sotheby's New York on 4 November, she hopes to raise $1.7m (£1.1m).

"I have owned these paintings, both the Bouguereau and Stevens, for 15 years and although I adore them, with the renovation and new direction our home is taking, it is time for a change," said Moore in a statement. "I am excited for a new owner to be able to share in the joy these paintings have brought us."

Moore is not the only A-list collector dispensing with their artwork. In an auction at Sotheby's in London tomorrow and Saturday, Jerry Hall is expected to raise at least £1.5m by selling key pieces from her own artistic treasure trove. Among the works are a Frank Auerbach oil painting, Andy Warhol's 1981 Dollar Sign and three portraits of Hall by Ed Ruscha, Francesco Clemente and Lucian Freud.

The Freud portrait shows Hall while eight months pregnant with her now 12-year-old son, Gabriel. Hall was quoted last month as saying that she was "horrified" to learn Freud had painted over her face and upper body in a separate portrait of her breastfeeding Gabriel, after she was unable to complete her sittings because of illness.

Despite Moore's justifications for the sale, the reality might be that she is simply cashing in on an increasingly buoyant art market and a rising appreciation of Bouguereau's work. Moore bought the Bouguereau and the Stevens for $178,500 (£112,400) and $200,500 (£126,300) respectively at a Christie's auction in 1995.

While Bouguereau was popular during his day, critics have increasingly sneered at his fussy, sentimental tributes to the female form. However the past 30 years have seen an increase in his reputation, and prices have followed suit.

Melanie Gerlis, art market editor at The Art Newspaper, said: "There are a number of intangibles involved in pricing such work but you could say that a painting's history of ownership can increase its value. Three years ago Hugh Grant famously made a £9m profit on an Andy Warhol, which was a much higher gain than if anyone else had tried the same thing. It's all about adding to the excitement and sex appeal of a sale.

"I am sure this is opportunistic. We are living in times where even Demi Moore could need to realise some cash, and selling her art is a good way of doing that."

Moore, though, hopes purchasers will appreciate her paintings for more than just their monetary value or celebrity cachet. "I love [Bouguereau's] combination of mythological themes, classical subjects and his photo realistic style," she said.

"There is a gentleness, a serenity, particularly in his depiction of women, combined with incredible strength that has inspired me."

Stars and their collections

Jeffrey Archer Archer raised about £20m from the 1998 sale of works by Andy Warhol.

Rod Stewart In 2001, the rocker sold a Victorian oil by Henry Nelson O'Neil for an undisclosed sum at Sotheby's.

Jimmy Page Two years ago the former Led Zeppelin guitarist sold a tapestry and five stained-glass windows by Sir Edward Burne-Jones.

Andrew Lloyd Webber The Andrew Lloyd Webber Art Foundation's Picasso portrait of Angel Fernández de Soto raised almost £35m at auction earlier this year.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Nicholas Serota has been a feature in the Power 100 top ten since its 2002 launch
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
Arts and Entertainment
Kate Bush: 'I'm going to miss everyone so much'
Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Arts and Entertainment
Pulling the strings: Spira Mirabilis

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Neville's Island at Duke of York's theatre
musicReview: The production has been cleverly cast with a quartet of comic performers best known for the work on television
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol

Arts and Entertainment
Lynda Bellingham stars in her last Oxo advert with on-screen husband Michael Redfern

Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman

Arts and Entertainment
Tim Minchin portrait
For a no-holds-barred performer who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, Tim Minchin is surprisingly gentle
Arts and Entertainment
Clara takes the lead in 'Flatline' while the Doctor remains in the Tardis
tvReview: The 'Impossible Girl' earns some companion stripes... but she’s still annoying in 'Dr Who, Flatline'
Arts and Entertainment
Joy Division photographed around Waterloo Road, Stockport, near Strawberry Studios. The band are Bernard Sumner (guitar and keyboards), Stephen Morris (drums and percussion), Ian Curtis (vocals and occasional guitar), Peter Hook (bass guitar and backing vocals).
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Harris in 'The Goob' film photocall, at the Venice International Film Festival 2014
filmThe Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Streisand is his true inspiration
Arts and Entertainment
X Factor contestant Fleur East
tvReview: Some lacklustre performances - but the usual frontrunners continue to excel
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Tuttle's installation in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern
artAs two major London galleries put textiles in the spotlight, the poor relation of the creative world is getting recognition it deserves
Arts and Entertainment
Hunger Games actress Jena Malone has been rumoured to be playing a female Robin in Batman v Superman
Arts and Entertainment
On top of the world: Actress Cate Blanchett and author Richard Flanagan
artsRichard Flanagan's Man Booker win has put paid to the myth that antipodean artists lack culture
Arts and Entertainment
The Everyman, revamped by Haworth Tompkins
architectureIt beats strong shortlist that included the Shard, the Library of Birmingham, and the London Aquatics Centre
Arts and Entertainment
Justice is served: Robert Downey Jr, Vincent D’Onofrio, Jeremy Strong and Robert Duvall in ‘The Judge’


Arts and Entertainment
Clive Owen (centre) in 'The Knick'


Arts and Entertainment
J.K. Simmons , left, and Miles Teller in a scene from


Arts and Entertainment
Team Tenacity pitch their fetching solar powered, mobile phone charging, heated, flashy jacket
tvReview: No one was safe as Lord Sugar shook things up
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?