The Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Art is very subjective, and debate will always rage as to what a certain painting or sculpture might be worth. For collectors and enthusiasts, owning expensive paintings is looked upon as an investment, as well as a way of proving ones wealth. There are hundreds of paintings that have sold for many millions of dollars, but not too many that have fetched over 100 million. Let’s take a look at these now:
Boy with a Pipe, Pablo Picasso – $104.2 million
Pablo Picasso is, arguably, the most famous and successful artist of all time, and dozens of his paintings could fetch enormous sums of money. This particular one, painted in 1906, was painted on canvas with oil, and became the first painting to be sold for more than $100 million when it sold at Sotheby’s in New York in May 2004.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, Pablo Picasso, – $106.5 million
This Picasso piece was made in 1932, and is thought to be inspired by his muse and mistress, Marie-Therese Walter. The painting can now be see in a private collection in the Tate Britain Art Gallery in London.
The Scream, Edvard Munch – $120 million
The Scream is a hugely famous painting, painted using pastel, tempera, and oil in 1895. When it went to auction in 2012 it became the most expensive painting ever to be sold in this bidding format.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, Gustav Klimt – $135 million
Finished in 1907, this painting was made on a 54 by 54 inch canvas using oil, gold, and silver. The most recent time this painting has been bought was in 2006 by Ronald Lauder, who then displayed it at the Neue Galerie in New York, his own gallery. The story behind the painting is that it was created while Klimt was visiting Vienna. During his time there he was commissioned by a sugar magnate, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer, to paint his wife, Adele.
Woman III, Willem De Kooning – $137.5 million
In the bronze position for the most expensive paintings ever sold comes Woman III by Willen De Kooning, painted in 1953. Interestingly, this painting isn’t a standalone work of art, and is actually part of a sequence of paintings which involved 6 separate works. The painting shows off the abstract style that Kooning was famous for, and was bought in 2000 by the billionaire Steven Cohen.
No.5, Jackson Pollock – $140 million
The field of abstract impressionism was what drew Jackson Pollock into art, and it is where he made his name. This particular painting is characterized by its thick areas of yellow and brown paint, used to depict drizzle and dirt. There is some controversy surrounding the buyer of this painting, often thought to be David Martinez, although his lawyers deny this. As it stands, it is known to be owned by David Geffen.
The Card Player, Paul Cezane – $254 million
To this day, The Card Player by Paul Cezane remains the most expensive painting ever sold. Painted during the post impressionist era in 1892 to 1893, the painting has drawn great attention due to its use of color and fine details. Cezane painted a series of 5 paintings of card players, of which this is his last and most famous. It was sold in 2011 to the Royal Family of Qatar who purchased it through a private auction.