Why Invest in Helmut Newton?

Helmut Newton (1920-2004) was a prolific fashion photographer, widely recognised as one of the most collectable and prominent photographers ever to hold a camera. Dubbed the 'King of Kink', his erotically charged imagery was provocative as it was masterful in its compositional and narrative direction.

Over the past decade, recognition and appreciation of his oeuvre has reached high peaks amongst collectors and art experts alike, but it is in recent years that prices have dramatically skyrocketed, and this trend is likely to continue.

Helmut Newton Prints

The work of German-Australian couture photographer and erotic artist Helmut Newton spans decades - from the 1940s until his death in 2004.

A founding father of modern fashion photography and a proponent of female sexuality as power, Newton’s controversial and oft-imitated style bridges the gap between art and commerce. His mastery of female portraiture and “kink” has led to worldwide celebration, despite the divisiveness of his work.

With Helmut Newton prints appearing in a wide range of world-famous publications, from Harper’s Bazaar and French Vogue to Playboy, this ex-concentration camp prisoner and Australian army veteran’s success has increased further still in these posthumous years.

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Famous Helmut Newton Original Prints

Newton’s nudes continue to be his most popular and recognisable works and in demand when it comes to fine art for sale in Melbourne.

Prints in his “Big Nudes” series are, as the name suggests, large in scale and make for exciting statement pieces - a significant trend at present.

“Sie Kommen - Dressed” and “Sie Kommen - Undressed”, a duo of large and striking images depicting the same group of women confidently approaching the camera in an identical manner in both a dressed and undressed state, are also exceptionally well known.

Images from his Vogue France shoot - featuring fashion pieces from Yves Saint-Laurent - are highly notable too, as is his photograph “Crocodile Eating Ballerina” (also entitled “A Scene From Pina Bausch's Ballet (The Legend of Virginity), Wuppertal”), featuring a nude being “consumed” by a crocodile.

His “edgier” work is also much sought after, including his provocative 1976 images “Saddle I, Paris” and “Saddle II, Paris”, the first featuring a woman in lingerie on all fours on a bed, wearing a saddle, and the second depicting another lingerie-clad woman astride a saddle mounted on the back of a chair.

These latter images and others like it clearly reveal why Newton earned the moniker “King of Kink”.

Why Purchase Helmut Newton Prints Posters Today?

While always popular, Newton’s work has recently found unparalleled new success. The average price per lot was valued between $30k-$40k during the spike directly following his death.

However, the last three years has seen a huge spike in the “going rate” for Newton’s work, with the average price per lot now hitting between $60k and $70k. This upward trend shows no sign of stopping, making Newton’s work an exceptional investment.

Currently, you can expect to purchase an individual Helmut Newton original print piece for between $10,000 and $20,000 - although one collector purchased a piece at the Auction House Phillips for $1,820,000 in 2019.

How to Buy Helmut Newton Posters & Prints Online

The Lyons Gallery has featured Helmut Newton prints posters in our most recent exhibition.

We currently offer an exciting selection of works from Slim Aarons prints to Newton’s pieces, including hand-signed work, nudes and images from fashion shoots.

To find your perfect print, simply browse our selection of artwork from this pioneering photographer today. All Helmut Newton original prints can be found here. Please contact our curators to discover more detail regarding the piece in which you are interested and to enquire into its price.

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Helmut Newton was born Helmut Neustädter in Berlin on October 31. From early age, Newton developed a obsession with photography, purchasing his very first camera aged 12. Four years later, he would take an apprenticeship with renowned German photographer, Yva.

In 1938, no longer able to ignore the change of political climate in Germany following the seizure of his father's factory, and Helmut's brief internment in a concentration camp on Kristallnacht, the family emigrated to South America.

Helmut was given a train ticket to Trieste from where he was meant to have gone by boat to China. Instead, he got off in Singapore where he joined the Strait Times as a local photographer, but he only managed to last two weeks. In 1904 he left for Australia, finding work in the Australian Army.


Newton’s style developed a very distinct taste for the erotic, long legs, and couture photography pushing the envelope of boldness for the time.

His technical ability and sense of style gained him work as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, French Vogue, Playboy, and numerous other iconic publications.

Shooting on the Street

Newton took fashion photography out of the studio and into the vitality of the street, bringing to his work the immediacy and dynamism of the paparazzi. "A woman does not live in front of a white paper" he said, in reference to the studio, "she lives on the street, in a motor car, in a hotel room." By bringing a journalistic element into his photography, he infused his photographs with human interest.


Newton expressed through photography the idea that women's sexuality could give them power. The women he portrays are independent, and in command.

He encourages the viewer to question the sexual objectification of women by forcing them to confront their own voyeuristic gaze.


Newton's admiration for the cinema, particularly Film Noir, is evident in his preference for black and white film, seductive women, and mysterious narrative elements. He utilises elaborate sets, highly posed scenes, and of course, glamorous attire, but at the heart of the photographs, these are always in service of conveying human emotion.


Helmut Newton straddled the gap between art and commerce, always managing to surprise and polarize his audience.

his unusual visual ideas resulted in a body of photographs that was not only exceptionally recognisable and successful, but also reached millions of viewers.

During his 25-year collaboration with Paris Vogue, Newton firmly established his international reputation and defined his signature style: highly stylised and erotically charged black-and-white photographs that embraced elements of glamour, fashion, erotica, portraiture and documentary, while flirting with provocative themes such as voyeurism.

Time magazine dubbed him ‘The King of Kink’. In the early 1970s Newton started working for Playboy — a collaboration that would last for around 30 years. Among his most famous sitters for the magazine was Charlotte Rampling. In 1973 Newton photographed the actress, who would later become his muse, nude on a dining table in Arles, a glass of wine in hand.

Over his prolific career, Newton worked extensively for American, Italian, German and French Vogue, shooting 64 covers for the latter, as well as for Marie Claire, Elle and Queen, among others.

He photographed a wealth of celebrities, as well as politicians such as Margaret Thatcher and Jean-Marie Le Pen.

How much does an artwork form Helmut Newton cost?

The most expensive piece of art by Helmut Newton was sold at 4 Apr 2019 by the auction house Phillips for US$1,820,000

'from strength to strength'

The market for Helmut Newton has gone from strength to strength’, says Hull. ‘Of his top 10 sales at auction, eight have been made in the past five years.’ The large format of the ‘The Big Nudes’ makes it one of his most highly sought-after series.

Newton produced little colour work, often adding a blue light to avoid warm tones. His preference was to produce colour unconsciously, without knowing there was colour film in the camera. ‘These prints are exceptionally rare at auction and command high prices when they do come to market,’ states Hull.

helmut newton's auction results

Big Nude III, Paris, 1980 (1982)

Size: 231.1cm x 106.3 cm


PRICE $345,000 AUD

LOCATION Christie's London Auction House

DATE May 31, 2007