Bob Dylan painting, once traded for astrology chart, sells for record $196,156

The painting is one of Dylan's earliest abstract works

Cover Image for Bob Dylan painting, once traded for astrology chart, sells for record $196,156

A Bob Dylan painting, originally traded for an astrology chart, sold for $196,156 (with buyer's premium) at RR Auction Thursday night, a new record auction price for any Dylan painting.

The abstract painting, estimated to be from 1968, was previously unknown and is one of the earliest of Dylan’s visual works ever sold.

Dylan gifted the work to a Woodstock, New York, resident named Sandy LePanto in return for an astrology chart, and the work remained with her family until it was recently uncovered in her ex-husband’s estate.

Though Dylan is best known for his decades-long career as a musician, the songwriter has painted hundreds of works over the years, including some which feature prominently on various album covers, including the Band’s 1968 “Music from Big Pink” and Dylan’s 1970 “Self Portrait.”

The canvas, which is signed by Dylan on its reverse, was created during Dylan’s “Woodstock Period."

“Bob Dylan’s visual art, like his music, draws from a deep well of cultural and personal expression,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, in a statement. “This painting from his Woodstock years is particularly evocative, capturing the vibrant and transformative spirit of the ’60s.”

Another early Dylan artwork, an abstract nude oil painting, sold in November 2022 for $100,000, establishing the current record for a Dylan painting. His early works are far rarer than his later period paintings. The top sale of which belongs to a 1991 sketch of train tracks, which sold for less than $55,000 in 2023, according to Artnet.

This sale follows another record-breaking result for a musical act’s foray into the world of visual art, as a painting created jointly by all four Beatles sold for more than $1.7 million.

Will Stern is a reporter and editor for cllct. You can follow him on X at @Will__Stern.