Painting, and fine arts in general, are expressions of emotion and ideas, creating aesthetic qualities in two-dimensional visual language. The greatness of arts and paintings is that they are such a diverse and varied range of works. These works of art have always fascinated the elites of society, who pay astronomical prices to get one of them in their possession.

There have been many occasions where prices of some original pieces made by famous and renowned artists have skyrocketed at private sales and auctions. Today, we have prepared a list of the ten most expensive paintings sold

#10. Painting of Nu Couché 

Nu Couché

In 2015, Amedeo Modigliani’s 1917 oil canvas, Nu Couché, fetched $170 million at an auction in New York. Nu Couché, also known as Red Nude or Reclining Nude in English, was purchased by a Chinese businessman, Liu Yiqian, after protracted bidding at Christie’s auction. 

#9. Painting titled Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”)

Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”)

The “Version O” of Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger, became the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction for a staggering $179 million in 2015. Les femmes d’Alger, which means “Women of Algiers,” consists of 15 paintings and several other drawings painted by Picasso for the artists he admired. This last version of this masterpiece was bought by the prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, at Christie’s auction.

#8. Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit 

Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit are the only full-length paintings portrayed by Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn. Furthermore, many consider the art the greatest visual artist of all time in Dutch art history. Louvre Museum in France and Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands bought the painting together for €160 million ($180 million).

#7. Painting named No.6 (Violet, Green, Red) 

No.6 (Violet, Green, Red)

In 2014, Yves Bouvier, a Swiss art dealer, sold No.6 (Violet, Green, Red) to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. The painting of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko cost €140 million ($163 million). 

#6. Wasserschlangen II the Painting

Wasserschlangen II

Wasserschlangen II is a painting by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt in 1907. The sale of this art took place in 2012 when Swiss art collector, Yves Bouvier, sold it to his favorite Russian client, Dmitry Rybolovlev, the billionaire above, at a private sale. After a long bargain, this oil canvas was sold at $183.8 million.

#5. Number 17A

Number 17A

Number 17A is an oil on a fiberboard painting made by American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock in 1948. Moreover, the said piece of art sold for $200 million. David Geffen Foundation sold this painting to Kenneth C. Griffin at a private sale in 2015. 

#4. Artwork: Nafea faa ipoipo

Nafea faa ipoipo

Nafea faa ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) is a painting of two Tahitian women on a field made by well-known French artist Paul Gauguin in 1892. Rudolf Staechelin sold this painting to an undisclosed buyer from Qatar. In 2014 Staechelin confirmed and told the New York Times that the buyer from Qatar purchased the oil painting for $210 million

#3. Painting: The Card Players 

The Card Players

The small oil nation of Qatar surprised the world again by buying one of the most expensive paintings in the world. The Royal Family of Qatar bought one of Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players” for more than $270 million in a private sale with George Embiricos. The painting series of The Card Players has five paintings in total, with the other four being in Musée d’Orsay and the Metropolitan Museum of Arts. 

#2. Interchange (de Kooning) 

 Interchange (de Kooning) 

Interchange became the most expensive abstract art ever sold. Dutch artist Willem de Kooning created the said painting. Moreover, he later became famous as the abstract expressionist of his time. The painting was sold by the Foundation of David Geffen to Kenneth C. Griffin, in a private sale, for an amount of $300 million

#1. Salvator Mundi 

Salvator Mundi 

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is the most expensive work of art in the whole world. The painting is estimated to have been created in the year 1500. Likewise, the painting cost $450.3 million at an auction in 2017. Unlike da Vinci’s works, it is rare to find something like that in that condition. Salvator Mundi, which means savior of the world in Latin. Moreover, Dmitry Rybolovlev kept it at an auction at Christie’s, and the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture Tourism bought it.

You just saw the ten most expensive paintings in the world to date. Which of these pieces of art would you like to have in your collection? Let us know by commenting below.


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