Extravagant paintings are quite the thing. Some can be found in museums and some can only be displayed at the topmost private collections of magnates, aristocrats, and billionaires. People would ask why is it important to own paintings? After all, they simply hang on a wall and take up space. Yet these paintings aren’t just any ordinary pieces of art; they’re valuable enough to make someone very wealthy overnight. If you’ll ask an art enthusiast why he thinks expensive paintings exist, his answer will probably range from “beauty” and “investment” to “noble ideals.”
Below are a List of Top 15 Expensive Paintings in the World
1. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi – $450.3 Mn.
Leonardo Da Vinci is one of the most renowned painters in history. He was known for his skills in painting, sculpting, architecture, and engineering. His most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, is now on display at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
In 2017, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings, Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) was sold at a Christie’s auction for $450.3 million. The painting was bought by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud through his Minister of Culture. The painting was due to be displayed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, however, it was later canceled.
It’s rumored to have been held up on a Saudi prince’s yacht and reserved for his collection.
2. Edvard Munch’s The Scream – $119.9 Mn.
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian painter and graphic artist who is best known for his painting, The Scream. The painting is an iconic image of human anxiety and despair and has been the subject of various interpretations.
In 2012, one of Edvard Munch’s paintings, The Scream, was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $119.9 million. It became the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction at that time.
3. The Three Studies of Lucian Freud – $142.4 Mn.
Lucian Freud was a British painter who was known for his portraits and nude paintings. He painted The Three Studies of Lucian Freud, which broke the record for being the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction in November 2013.
The painting was sold to Canadian businessman and art collector, David Thomson during a Christie’s auction.
4. Willem De Kooning’s Interchange – $300 Mn.
Willem de Kooning was a Dutch-American abstract painter and one of the leading figures in the abstract expressionism movement. His painting, Interchange, was sold for $300 million at a Christie’s auction in 2015. It became one of his most expensive paintings ever sold.
5. Jackson Pollock’s No 5 – $250 Mn.
Jackson Pollock is considered to be one of the founders of the abstract expressionist movement, which had begun during World War II.
In 2006, Jackson Pollock’s painting, No 5 (1948), was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $250 million by David Geffen, an American businessman and co-founder of DreamWorks Animation and record label Geffen Records.
6. Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) – $179.4 Mn.
This is one extravagant piece by Pablo Picasso. It’s one of the five versions of the Les Femmes D’Alger series he produced in 1955. The painting became the most expensive artwork by a living artist ever sold at an auction when it was put up for sale at Christie’s Auction House in May 2015.
It fetched $179.4 million, breaking the record set by Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog (Orange).
7. The Card Players – $259.7 Mn.
This painting of two peasants playing cards were created by the French artist, Paul Cezanne.
In 2011, the painting was sold for $259.7 million at a Sotheby’s auction, making it the second most expensive painting ever sold at an auction.
The Willem de Kooning painting that previously held this record was later surpassed by Jackson Pollock’s No 5.
These paintings are some of the most extravagant and valuable pieces of art in the world. They’re worth so much because of their beauty, history, and rarity. Whether or not you appreciate art, it’s hard not to be in awe of these incredible masterpieces.
8. Paul gaugain’s Nafea Faa Ipoipo – $200 Mn.
When will you marry? (Nafea Faa Ipoipo) is it an interesting painting completed by Paul Gaugain in 1892? The two women in the picture are asking themselves when they will get married while the man is dancing.
Painted in Tahiti, this piece was sold at a Sotheby’s auction for $200 million to the Qatari royal family – making it the RRP of $200 million back in 2015.
An extremely rare painting completed by Paul Gaugain in 1892. The paintings were done on giant pieces of wood and are considered impossible to replace. The Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When will you marry) was bought by Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani who heads the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA).
The painting was reportedly sold to Qatar’s royal family in 2014 for $200 million, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at that time.
9. Amedeo Modigliani’s Nu Couché – $170 Mn.
Amedeo Clemente Modigliani was an Italian painter who worked predominantly in France. He is considered to be one of the most important painters of the 20th century, and his works are often associated with art movements like Cubism and Expressionism.
In 2015, Amedeo Modigliani’s painting, Nu Couché (Reclining Nude), was sold at a Christie’s auction for $170 million. It became the second most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction.
10. Paolo Veronese’s The Wedding At Cana – $181 Mn.
Paolo Caliari, known as Paolo Veronese, was an Italian Renaissance painter of the Venetian school, who conducted his workshop in Venice.
The Wedding At Cana is one of his famous paintings and was sold at a Christie’s auction in London in 2014 for $181 million to an undisclosed buyer from Qatar. This made it the third most expensive artwork ever sold at that time.
11. David hockney’s Portrait of an Artist – $90.3 Mn.
British artist David Hockney is considered to be one of the greatest exponents of pop art in history.
His painting, Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), was sold at a Christie’s auction for $90.3 million in 2018. It was the most expensive artwork ever sold by a living British artist and became the fourth most expensive artwork ever sold at that time as well as having the highest price per square meter (the painting measures 1.5 meters squared).
12. The Last Supper – $325 Mn.
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, and philosopher who is considered to be one of the greatest artists of all time.
One of his most famous paintings is The Last Supper which was commissioned by the Duke of Milan Ludovico Sforza for a Dominican monastery. It was sold at a Christie’s auction in 1994 for $325 million, becoming the most expensive artwork ever sold up until that time.
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