Edvard Munch The Scream 1893
Sold for: $119.9 million at Sothebys
Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893.
An important source of inspiration for Expressionism in the early 20th century, Edvard Munchs The Scream has become one of the most iconic and recognizable images of our time and was the highest-selling painting at auction in 2012. Munch painted the piece in a collection of 22 works that were exhibited in Berlin in 1902, all representing unconventional topics for the time period. They ranged from love and loss to death and spirituality. This is one of four versions of The Scream, which Munch had initially titled Der Schrei der Natur .
Salvator Mundi Leonardo Da Vinci $4503 Million
Leonardo da Vincis depiction of Jesus Christ holding a crystal orb is the most expensive painting in the world!
The painting was commissioned by King Louis XII of France in 1605, during the same period as the Mona Lisa.
However, somewhere between 1763 and 1900, it disappeared from all records until it was rediscovered in 2005, by a group of British art dealers.
Purchasing the painting for $10,000 they spent six years restoring and investigating its history before eventually announcing that it was a Da Vinci original.
The painting was exhibited in 2011 by the National Gallery of London and became known as the Lost Leonardo, as it was the first discovery of a Da Vinci since 1909.
The Savior of the World was purchased by theCrown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism.
No 5 1948 Jackson Pollock $140 Million
If you had $140 million to invest then the No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock could have been just the investment you were looking for.
However, it sold to an unknown buyer in 2006 and interestingly, was actually not the original piece. It was sold just over a year later to the artist, Alfonso A. Ossorio for a mere $1,500.
After being damaged in Ossorios house, Pollock offered to repair it, but ended up re-painting the whole thing!
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The Card Players Paul Cezanne:
$266,000,000 million dollars just missing out of the top spot is Paul cézannes 1893 masterpiece the card players painted in the latter years of seasons career the card players is actually a series of similar oil paintings that vary in size setting and number of visible players the most prolific of which was bought by the Qatari royal family anyone starting to sense a theme here in 2011 for the extraordinary sum of two hundred and sixty-six million dollars this sale was arranged by Greek shipping magnate George MB Ricos who had been the paintings previous owner the card players series featuring many of the original pieces have repeatedly been featured in museum tours around the world but this particular privately owned piece is always represent by a replacement print.
Interchange By Willem De Kooning
|Artist of Painting|
|Price Paid for Painting||$328 million|
Willem de Kooning, the Dutch-American painter, created this famous work of Abstract Expressionism in 1955. Considered to be Americas first modern art movement, Abstract Expressionism was pioneered by artists such as de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. Interchange marks a shift in subject matter for the artist, who went from painting women to painting abstract urban landscapes.
Franz Kline was influential in getting de Kooning to change his technique from using often violent brush strokes to rapid and gestural movements. The focal point of the painting is the large mass which is centered in the composition and pink in color. It represents a woman reclining. In September of 2015, Kenneth C. Griffin acquired the oil painting for $300 million from the David Geffen Foundation.
At the time of its sale, it was the most expensive painting around the globe.
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Seventeenth To Nineteenth Centuries
This painting seems to have been at James Hamilton‘s Chelsea Manor in London from 1638 to 1641. After participating in the English Civil War, Hamilton was executed on 9 March 1649 and some of his possessions were taken to the Netherlands to be sold. The Bohemian artist Wenceslaus Hollar could have made his engraved copy, dated 1650, in Antwerp at that time. It was also recorded in Henrietta Maria‘s possession in 1649, the same year her husband Charles I was executed, on 30 January. The painting was included in an inventory of the Royal Collection, valued at £30, and Charles’s possessions were put up for sale under the English Commonwealth. The painting was sold to a creditor in 1651, returned to Charles II after the English Restoration in 1660, and included in an inventory of Charles’s possessions at the Palace of Whitehall in 1666. It was inherited by James II, and may have remained with him until it passed to his mistress Catherine Sedley, whose illegitimate daughter with James became the third wife of John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. The duke’s illegitimate son, Sir Charles Herbert Sheffield, auctioned the painting in 1763 along with other artworks from Buckingham House when the building was sold to George III.
The Masterpiece By Roy Lichtenstein
Self-fulfilling prophecy or self-promotion? The aptly titled The Masterpiece is one of several works by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein, who was part of an art movement that began in the 1950s and was characterised by vivid uses of colour and a tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. The Masterpiece, like several of his works, takes stylistic elements from comic books and strips, including Ben-Day dots and speech bubbles. In more recent years, this kind of art has been called into question, with the suggestion that it is all gloss and no substance, though many believe that there are several layers of meaning behind the work.
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Nu Couch Amedeo Modigliani $1572 Million
Modiglianis 1917 painting of a naked woman on a red sofa became a record-breaking piece of art when it sold at Sothebys New York auction to an anonymous buyer in May 2018.
The artist also painted another very similar painting, Nu couché,, but this one is a lot bigger and captures the entire female figure from head to toe.
Chinese stock-market-billionaire Liu Yiqian bought the piece to display in his Shanghai museums.
Andy Warhol Triple Elvis 1963
Sold for: $81.9 million at Christies
Andy Warhol, Triple Elvis, 1963.
Known for his innovative Pop art interpretations of the world, Andy Warhols Triple Elvis was one of his most iconic depictions of celebrity and pop culture. Using a photograph of Elvis Presley from the film Flaming Star, Warhol manipulated it to create a work that became synonymous with the singer as time went on and one of Warhols best-known pieces.
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I’m Absolutely Sure That Six Months Down The Road Or A Year There’s Going To Be Some Kind Of New Information Whether True Or Not That’s Going To Blow Up Everywhere Andreas Dalsgaard
The two documentaries arrive at a time when films, podcasts and pop culture itself seem fascinated by art crimes, mysteries and forgeries. In the past year two documentaries, the engaging Made You Look and the pedestrian Driven to Abstraction, tackled the case of the Knoedler Gallery in New York, which for nearly two decades sold forgeries supposedly by 20th-Century masters including Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock. Knowingly or not? That is still a question. The Netflix series This Is a Robbery delves into the 1990 theft of masterworks including a Rembrandt from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The series is full of conspiracy theories about the never-solved robbery.
And Lewis has a new eight-episode podcast, Art Bust: Scandalous Stories of the Art World, which promises stories of “the ugliest crimes, the biggest scandals and the murky in-between.” The subjects range from Inigo Philbrick, criminally charged with defrauding clients by selling more than 100% of shares in artworks, to a golden Egyptian coffin whose smuggled past came to light after Kim Kardashian was photographed next to it at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute gala. The Met has since returned the coffin to Egypt. That these tales can work in a podcast, where no one can even see the work being described, suggests how much the allure of today’s art-crime stories is in the skulduggery and mystery, not aesthetics.
Saviour for Sale opens in the US on 17 September.
Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion Amedeo Modigliani $118 Million
Next up is the 1917 piece Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion by Amedeo Modigliani.
It is one of several nude female portraits hes known for creating.
Modigliani is also known for his interesting character and behaviour, as he would often swap or trade his paintings for alcohol, food or drugs.
Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion was purchased by a Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlevn in 2012.
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No: 6 Mark Rothko $186000000
The use of vivid colours in a simple pattern exemplifies Rothkos signature style of conveying an intimate message without the use of subjects. This piece was bought for USD 186 million by the Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev from the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier in the year 2014. While the purchase has subsequently got embroiled in legal disputes, this piece still remains one of the expensive pieces of art in the world.
No 6 Mark Rothko $186 Million
It might not be to everyones taste, but No. 6 has had a profound influence on contemporary art since its release.
The painting might be even more famous for being one of 36 pieces in the Bouvier Affair. This is an ongoing court battle between Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev and his art dealer, Yves Bouvier.
Dmitry claims that Yves defrauded him out of hundreds of millions of dollars, overcharging him for multiple paintings, which Yves strongly denies!
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Amedeo Modigliani Nu Couch : $162 Million
Sotheby’s New York, May 2018
Not to be confused with No couché , which lies in third place in this very list, Nu couché is part of a series of nudes. It is the largest Modiglianis work, portraying a reclining female nude. The painting was exhibited in Modiglianis first and only solo show in Paris at the Galerie Berthe Weill. The show caused a huge scandal and the police were called to shut down the show. Nu couché was bought by Ezra and David Nahmad.
Garon La Pipe By Pablo Picasso
|Artist of Painting|
|Price Paid for Painting||$142 million|
Pablo Picassos workGarçon à la Pipe was painted with oil on canvas. The Boy with a Pipe was created by Picasso in 1905, at the age of 24, and living in the Montmartre neighborhood of Paris, during his Rose Period.
The artwork portrays a young Parisian child with a pipe in his left hand and a flower garland on his head, which is encircled by two floral embellishments.
The topic was a small child from the neighborhood named Ptit Louis. The artwork is considered one of the most valuable paintings, having sold for $104 million at a Sothebys auction on May 5, 2004. It is presently Picassos sixth most popular painting.
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Les Femmes Dalger Picasso $179400000
The masters Les Femmes dAlger Version O set a global record for the most expensive painting ever sold at an auction when it sold for USD 179.4 million in 2015. This picture is the climax of Picassos 15-work series on Women of Algiers, which was inspired by the 19th-century Spanish master Eugene Delacroix.
This sequence of works by Picasso, titled A to O, is part of a larger body of work dedicated to painters he liked, in this case, French painter Eugène Delacroix.
The Card Players Paul Cezanne $250000000
Before the sale of When Will You Marry in 2015, this picture held the global record for most expensive painting. In 2011, the Qatari royal family purchased the Card Players from Greek shipping billionaire George Embiricos for a stunning USD 274 million. This painting is one of those timeless images that you cant help but recognize.
Qatar Museums now owns this piece of art. Paul Gauguin was famed for his gorgeous girl portraits and romanticized depictions of Tahitis island paradise. Tehamana, the artists 13-year-old wife, is one of the girls featured in the picture.
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Edward Hopper Chop Suey 1929
Sold for: $91.9 million at Christies
Edward Hopper, Chop Suey, 1929.
As the most expensive work of pre-war American art ever sold, Edward Hoppers Chop Suey is arguably the artists most iconic painting. The piece showcases a period of American history in which society was evolving at a rapid pace: chop suey restaurants were popular luncheonettes for the working class in the mid-1920s. The subjects of the painting represent a snapshot of American life as it changed at a dramatic pace. The women dining together in broad daylight symbolize the evolving role of women in the American workplace and their newfound independence beyond the domestic roles they were previously assigned.
Rembrandt Pendant Portraits Of Maerten Soolmans And Oopjen Coppit 1636 $197 Million
Rembrandt, Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit,1636
Rembrandt is considered one of art history’s most important Old Mastersa label reserved for Europe’s most prolific pre-19th-century painters. While he is best known for his group portraits like The Night Watch and his lifelong series of self-portraits, he created numerous other portraits within his lifetimeone of which is a pair of paintings called the Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit.
These pieces were commissioned as wedding portraits for the two subjects depicted and a portrait of each figure at full length and at a large size. In 2016, the portraits were purchased by the Riksmuseum and the Louvre for $180 million.
Price after inflation: $197 millionOriginal price: $180 million Date of sale: February 1, 2016
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Woman Iii Willem De Kooning
Steven Cohen bought this painting in 2006. The abstract expressionist painting used to be a featured piece at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. The Islamic Revolution of 1979, however, led to the banning of the artwork that featured a rough model of a woman. It was then traded in 1994 to David Geffen, who then sold the piece to Cohen. It is one of a series of six paintings by the artist that had a woman as the central theme.
Van Goghportrait Of Dr Gachet : $1634 Million
Christies New York, May 1990
Despite arguments over its authenticity, one of the most revered paintings by the Dutch artist Van Gogh depicts Dr. Paul Gachet, who took care of the artist during the final months of his life. Sad but gentle, clear and intelligent, the doctor’s melancholic face carries “the heartbroken expression of our time.
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No 5 1948 Jackson Pollock
An unknown buyer bought this painting via a private sale through Sothebys in 2006. Originally owned by Samuel Irving Newhouse Jr., the painting is an example of the abstract expressionist movement. It features what appears to be a nest made by liberal amounts of yellow and brown paint drizzled over the canvas.
The Scream Edvard Munch $1199 Million
As well as being one of the most expensive paintings in the word, The Scream is also one of the most famous and iconic.
There are four versions of The Scream, and this one is a lot less valuable than the 1893 oil painting rendition, which is currently on display in Oslo, Norways National Gallery.
The Scream was purchased by billionaire financier Leon Black in 2012.
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Number 17a Jackson Pollock $200 Million
This 1948 painting by Jackson Pollock was the second piece of artwork bought in a $500 million deal by hedge fund manager Kenneth C Griffin in 2015.
Number 17A isnt on public display at the moment, however, there are many exceptional Pollock collections on display in museums around the world, including the New Yorks Museum of Modern Art .
Triptych Inspired By The Oresteia Of Aeschylus
Although far from the worlds most expensive painting ever sold as of 2022-2023, Irish-born artist Francis Bacons Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus still sold for a hefty $84.5 million from Sothebys in New York in June of 2020.
Bacon based his triptych on The Oresteia, a trilogy of ancient Greek plays written by Aeschylus, who lived during the 6th century BC. The first painting shows the murder of King Agamemnon after his wife, Queen Clytemnestra, sacrificed their daughter to ensure a safe journey.
The middle piece represents Agamemnon and Clytemnestras son, Orestes, killing his mother. The final panel depicts the Furies, who were three deities of vengeance, pursuing Orestes.
The triptych wasnt even the most expensive painting ever sold by Bacon. Triptych, 1976 went for $86.3 million in 2008, while Three Studies of Lucian Freud sold for $142.4 million in 2013, making it the most expensive Bacon painting in the world ever sold as of 2022 2023.
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Pablo Picasso Les Femmes D’alger : $1958 Million
Christie’s New York, May 2015
As one might have been expected, one of the most expensive paintings ever sold in an auction was created by Picasso. His Les Femmes dAlger was sold in 2015 setting the world-record price for an artwork at the time. It was bought by the former Qatari prime minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani. The painting, Version O, is the last painting of a series that Picasso created as a tribute to Eugène Delacroix, an artist that he profoundly admired. In particular, it is inspired by Delacroixs The Women of Algiers in their Apartment .
As previously stated, there have been many paintings sold privately for higher prices than some of those on our list. So here are listed the few works, from some of the biggest names in art history, for which the valuation at their private sale is known and that would lie between number 2 and 1.
Rembrandt’s “Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit” $197 million
Gustav Klimts Wasserschlangen II 204.2 million
Jackson Pollock’s “Number 17A” $218 million
Paul Gauguin’s “Nafea Faa Ipoipo ” $229 million
Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players” $288 million
Willem de Kooning’s “Interchange” $328 million