How Much Oil Would Freud’s Painting Buy?

Speaking of oil money, I was wondering how much oil Lucian Freud’s “Benefits Supervisor Sleeping” (pictured in yesterday’s post) might buy in today’s economy. The painting is expected to sell for a record $25-35 million at the PostWar and Contemporary Art auction at Christie’s NY this Tuesday.

Let’s take the high end of $35 million. At $126 per barrel of crude oil, the Freud would buy 277,778 barrels. Now, according to How Stuff Works, a barrel of oil can yield up to 20 gallons of gasoline. So, the Freud could buy slightly more than 5.55 million gallons of gasoline. In the U.S., about 20 million barrels of oil or 400 million gallons of gasoline is consumed each day. So, we could say that the Freud would take care of only 1.4% of gasoline consumed in one day. Another way to say this is: the Freud would take care of the gasoline America consumes in barely 20 minutes.

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5 Responses to How Much Oil Would Freud’s Painting Buy?

  1. i love this post! i’m actually shocked lucien could power us along for even twenty minutes. it’s only $35 million we’re talking about, which puts some perspective on even larger price tags, like $5 billion a month in Iraq…

  2. blixity says:

    yes exactly. my reaction was: wow, that’s $35 million! then shit, that buys LESS than twenty minutes of one day? i did try to calculate what america’s daily bill for gas would be, but sadly, my calculator couldn’t handle the number of zeros and i can barely read exponentials… thanks PBB!

  3. noodle says:

    ha! was about to send this link to pbb–but you found each other! great post!

  4. blixity says:

    thank you noodle! visit again soon! (now we know every 20 minutes, another $35 million go by.)

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