Marcel Duchamp


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Status, estimation and price of the artist Marcel Duchamp

Price of a sculpture: 364 – 2 200,000 €.

Estimation of a print: 300 – 10,000 €.

Estimation of a drawing: 1500 – 1 600,000 €.

Price of a photograph: 668 – 70,000 €.

If you would like to have a work by Marcel Duchamp appraised, our experts will take care of everything.

Learning and difficult beginnings

Marcel Duchamp is a French painter, man of letters and visual artist who became a naturalized American citizen in 1955. He was born on 28 July 1887 in Normandy and died on 2 October 1968 in Neuilly-sur-Seine. He did not belong to any artistic movement, but had his own unique style. According to numerous essays dedicated to him, he was the inspiration for many movements such as Pop Art, Kineticism and neo-Dadaism.

A self-taught artist, Marcel Duchamp obtained his baccalaureate with a prize, Ami des Arts, and moved to Montmartre in 1904. However, he failed the entrance examination for the Beaux-Arts de Paris, and therefore did not attend any art school in the strict sense of the term.

He tried to exhibit his drawings at the Salon des Humoristes in 1907, but it was a failure. Between 1908 and 1910, he published 18 satirical drawings in newspapers such as Le Rire and Le Courrier français. From 1902 to 1910, Marcel Duchamp explored all artistic styles such as fauvism, cubism and impressionism. At the beginning of 1911, he painted his work Le Printemps with an androgynous figure, which would become a symbolic theme for his next large canvases.

In 1913, his work “Nude descending a Staircase No. 2” caused a scandal at the International Exhibition of Modern Art in New York, as well as in Chicago and Boston. The canvas is influenced by chronophotography and futurism. The work was sold and did not return to France.

Discovery and consecration

Between 1913 and 1915, Marcel Duchamp moved away from painting and created the first ready-mades: an object torn from its context and placed in a new, unusual situation so that its ordinary use would disappear. Living in New York, he had an impact on the Dadaist movement, but refused to associate himself with the 1922 Dada Salon in Paris, wanting to retain his independence.

It is Marcel Duchamp who co-organises the International Exhibition of Surrealism at the Galerie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In one of the halls, an ephemeral sculpture composed of 1,200 bags of coal hanging from the ceiling is on display. As the room is in darkness, the spectators move around with the help of a flashlight. In doing so, it is the precursor of the happening.

Duchamp’s seminal “Nu sur nu” was sold for 1.2 million euros on 6 June 2016 in Paris for the benefit of Médecins Sans Frontières.

Recognising Marcel Duchamp’s signature

Like many artists, Duchamp did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature duchamp

Appraising and selling a piece by Marcel Duchamp

If you own a piece by Marcel Duchamp or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.