Fascinating Details About The 20 Most Expensive Paintings In the World
Painting is an expression of ideas and emotions. Therefore, this creation can be said to hold different aesthetic values both to the painter and beholder.
- Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat
Price: $110.5 Million
“Untitled” is a spray painting by NYC graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The image, which depicts a skull, was sold in 2017 for the whopping sum of $110.5 million to a Japanese billionaire known as Yusaku Maezawa.
- Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion by Amedeo Modigliani
Price: $118 Million
This 1917 piece is one among the numerous nude female portraits painted by Amedeo Modigliani.
Modigliani, who often traded his paintings for alcohol, food, or drugs during his youth, would have been shocked today to discover the value attached to one of his pieces.
In 2012, the Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion was purchased by Dmitry Rybolovlevn, a Russian billionaire, for $118 million.
- The Scream by Edvard Munch – Price: $119.9 Million
The scream is one of the world’s most famous paintings. There are four-piece pieces of this iconic painting, and the 1893 oil rendition is currently on display in Oslo, Norway’s National Gallery.
In 2012, The Scream was purchased by Leon Black, a billionaire financier, for $119.9 million.
- Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt
Price: $135 Million
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, popularly known as “The Lady in Gold,” is a painting of a Jewish banker’s wife in 1907.
This iconic piece painted by Australian artist Gustav Klimt was sold to Russian billionaire Ronald Lauder in 2006.
The portrait is said to be on display at Neue Valerie in New York currently.
- Woman III by Willem de Kooning
Price: $137.5 Million
In the early 1950s, this piece was painted by Dutch expressionist Willem de Kooning.
It was later displayed in Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran.
However, Woman III was considered too offensive to the eye and taken down. Following an auction in 2006, this painting was sold for $137.5 million to Steven A. Cohen, a billionaire hedge fund manager.
- No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock
Price: $140 Million
Attach to this piece is much history. In 2006, No. 5, 1948, was sold to an unknown buyer.
It was later discovered that the painting sold wasn’t the original piece.
The original was sold a year subsequently for the sum of $1,500 to Alfonso A Ossorio.
This piece was later damaged in Ossorio’s house, Pollock an artist offered to repair it; however, he repainted the whole article.
- Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon
Price: $142.4 Million
This painting was made in 1969 by Francis Bacon. It depicts Lucian Freud, his friend, and rival, and soon after it was released, it became one of the world’s most expensive paintings.
In 2013, it was sold at an auction to Elaine Wynne for $142. 4 million.
- Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt
Net Worth: $150 Million
In 2016, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II was sold for the price of $150 million.
The Nazis before now stole this piece of Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt during World War II.
Luckily it was retrieved and donated to Vienna’s Galerie Belvedere museum. But, unfortunately, ownership of the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II was later regained by Bloch Bauer estate and sold to Oprah Winfrey, who sold it to an unknown Chinese buyer.
- Le Rêve by Pablo Picasso
Price: $155 Million
Le Rêve, known as “The Dream” in English, is one of Picasso’s most iconic pieces.
The painting, which depicts Marie-Thérèse Walter, Picasso’s mistress, was sold to Steve Wynn, a casino tycoon.
He held on to it for 12 years before agreeing to sell it to Steven A.Cohen, who bought it for the less than agreed amount following the painting slipping out of Steve Wynn’s hand.
- Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) by Amedeo Modigliani
Price: $157.2 Million
Amedeo Modigliani painted this 1917 painting of a naked woman on a red sofa and soon became quite famous. In May 2018, it was sold for the whopping sum of $157. 2 million to an unknown buyer at Sotheby’s New York.
- Masterpiece by Roy Lichtenstein
Price: $165 Million
Gradually making our way to the top 10, at this spot is “Masterpiece,” a painting inspired by comic book illustrations by Roy Lichtenstein. In 2017, this iconic piece was bought by Steven A. Cohen, an avid art collector, for $165 million.
The 20 Most Expensive Paintings In the World
- Nu couché by Amedeo Modigliani
Price: $170.4 Million
At number 9 is another work by Modigliani. Nu couché is a painting that depicts a naked woman on a red sofa; this piece is said to have been sold to Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian, who bought the image with a single swipe of his American Express Card.
- Les Femmes d’ Alger (“Version O”) by Pablo Picasso
Price: $197.4 Million
“Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O”), meaning “Women of Algiers,” is the 15 version of the 1954-55 series from Picasso. This piece once held the record for the most expensive painting sold at auction for two years. It was purchased by the former prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
- Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt
Price: $180 Million
This painting by Rembrandt has never been separated since they were painted in 1634 to celebrate the wedding of Maerten and Oopjen.
In 2015, they were sold to Louvre and the Rijksmuseum as a joint venture, paying 50% each.
- No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) by Mark Rothko
Price: $186 Million
No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) is famous for being among the 36 pieces in the “Bouvier Affair.”
Although, since its release, this piece has been considered a significant influence on contemporary art, it’s no surprise that it is worth $186 million.
- Number 17A by Jackson Pollock
Price: $200 Million
In 2015, Number 17A, a 1948 painting by Jackson Pollock, was sold to Kenneth C Griffin, a hedge fund manager.
The piece isn’t on public display now, as it is added to its owner’s private collection.
- Nafea Faa Ipoipo by Paul Gauguin
Prince: $210 Million
While on his first trip to Tahiti, French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin painted Nafea Faa Ipoipo.
Meaning “When Will You Marry?” in English, this painting depicts the native woman on the island.
This painting, like the others, was previously dubbed the most expensive in the world following its auction of $210 million.
- The Card Players by Paul Cézanne
Price: $250 Million
The Card Players is one of the five French master Paul Cézanne’s 1890s series of the same name.
In 2011, it was purchased by the Royal Family of Qatar for a whopping sum of $250 million.
- Interchange by Willem de Kooning
Price $300 Million
“Interchange,” a 1955 piece by Willem de Kooning, is the second most expensive painting globally.
His surrounding inspired this painting in New York City. It was later sold to Hedge fund billionaire Kenneth C Griffin in a private auction for $300 million.
- Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci
Now to the most expensive painting in the world, worth $450. Three million is Leonard da Vinci’s depiction of Jesus Christ titled “Salvator Mundi.”
In 1605, the painting of Jesus Christ holding a crystal orb was commissioned by King Louis XII of France.
It was the same period the Mona Lisa painting was made; however, between 1763 and 1900, the image disappeared and was later rediscovered in 2005.
A group of British art dealers purchased it for the sum of $10,000.
After investigating its history and restoring it, they learned it was an original piece of Da Vinci.
In 2011, Salvator Mundi was exhibited in London’s National Gallery and dubbed the “Lost Leonardo.”
The painting was later bought for $450.3 million by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism.