Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

Paintings are not exactly the most affordable items to purchase. For painting enthusiasts and collectors, these pieces of art are considered as an investment. The ones which are made by people who have left a significant mark in the world of visual arts can be very expensive and the price can also appraise over the years. There are countless paintings which are scattered all over the world but here are some of the most expensive ones.

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10 Paul Cezane, The Card Player Price: $254 million

This creation by a French painter, Paul Cezanne, is still considered as the most expensive one that has ever been sold. This was dated in the year 1892/93 and it showcases post-impressionist art. The main reason why this painting sells for such a high price is because of the fine details and color intensity that it has. This painting is actually the last in Cezanne’s 5-painting series which depicts card players. This selling price was recorded in 2011, when the Royal Family of Qatar bought it from a private auction house.

9 Jackson Pollock, No. 5 Price: $140 million

Jackson Pollock is an American painter who became popular because of his contributions in the field of abstract impressionism. This painting is characterized by the thick brown and yellow paint which are regarded as drips and drizzles. According to art experts, this is an abstract representation of a nest.

In 2006, the last sale of this painting was rumored to have been closed by David Martinez, though this is constantly denied by his lawyers. This painting which was done in 8’x4’ fiberboard was initially displayed at Museum of Modern Art and owned by Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr. Eventually he sold it to David Geffen which precedes the alleged purchase of Martinez.         

8 Willem De Kooning, Woman III Price: $137.5 million 

This 1953 painting by Willem De Kooning lands at the third spot with its staggering price tag of $137.5 million. This painting is actually a part of a series which involves six different paintings. It resonates the abstract expressionist style of Kooning and measures 68x48.5 inches. In 2000, the painting was sold by David Geffen to billionaire, Steven A. Cohen.

7 Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer Price: $135 million

Gustav Klimt finished this painting in 1907. It was done on a 54x54 inch canvas using oil, silver and gold. The latest acquisition of this painting was made by Ronald Lauder in 2006 and it was displayed in his gallery, Neue Galerie in New York City. The painting was created while Klimt was in Vienna. Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, who is a sugar industry magnate, commissioned Klimt to paint his wife, Adel Bloch-Bauer.   

6 Edvard Munch, The Scream Price: $120 million

This painting is the fourth version which was created by Edvard Munich. It was done using oil, tempera and pastel. This was finished in 1895. So far, it is the most expensive painting that was ever sold through an auction. The painting was sold at the Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Auction in 2012 and was bought by Leon Black.

5 Pablo Picasso, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust Price: $106.5 million

This 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso is named as Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur in French. The woman who inspired him to do this painting is Marie-Therese Walter, who is known to be his mistress and muse. This was also sold in an auction and now, it is a part of a private collection in Tate Britain in London.

4 Pablo Picasso, Boy with a Pipe Price: $104.2 million

This painting was done by Pablo Picasso in 1905. This painting was finished on canvas using oil and features a Parisian boy in blue with a wreath of flowers on top of his head. The boy in the painting is holding a pipe on his left hand.

In May 2004, the auction which was done by Sotheby’s New York made a big buzz in the art world when this painting was sold. It went beyond the recorded auction price of Vincent Van Gogh’s painting in 1990. Aside from that, this was also the first painting which exceeded $100 million.

3 Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar au Chat Price: $95.2 million

This was finished by Pablo Picasso in 1941. This is also a depiction of a woman whom he had a relationship for about a decade, Dora Maar. In 1940s, this was placed in possession of Leigh and Mary block. They are also art collectors who are based in Chicago. They sold the painting in 1963 and then it remained hidden for many years. The painting showed up again in 2005-2006 when it was already with the Gidwitz family in Chicago. Sotheby’s placed the painting for auction in 2006. The undisclosed buyer is said to be a Russian bidder who also bought other paintings along with this work by Picasso.

2 Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet Price: $82.5 million

Vincent van Gogh finished this painting in 1890 and it was done on a 23.4x22.0 inch canvas using oil. The painting features Dr. Paul Gachet. He is known to be the one who took care of van Gogh before he passed away.

This painting actually has two different versions, both of which were authenticated to be real creations of van Gogh. Though both paintings feature Dr. Gachet on the same position, the color scheme used for each was very different. It is the first version which was sold for $82.5 million.

1 Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Dance at the Moulin de la Galette Price: $78.1 million

This painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir was done in 1876 and it is also known as Bal du Moulin de la Galette. In the field of impressionistic art, this is acknowledged as one of the best. Up until 1894, this was part of the private collection of Gustave Caillebotte, who is also a French painter. Sotheby in New York was the last to mediate the auction for this painting and though the buyer remained undisclosed, there are unconfirmed reports that it was bought by a Swiss collector.

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