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The 10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World (Update: Jan 2023)

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Do you know which are the Most Expensive Paintings in the World in 2023?

Hello readers! If you clicked on this blog post it means you are an art enthusiast or an admirer or maybe just curious! Whatever the reason is, I am sure that this blog will give you an overview of the most Expensive Paintings in the World!

Paintings are the most ancient forms of art. They hold a significant role in unfolding several historic facts, events, cultures, etc. Some paintings are so precious that they are treasured for their one-of-a-kind persona! However, there are many other factors too as to why they are insanely expensive.

We will know it as we go forward in this blog revealing the most expensive paintings in the world.

List of the Most Expensive Paintings in the World (2023)

List of the Expensive Painting

Expensive paintings are a symbol of status. Being a single original piece in the world increases its demand among art lovers or collectors. The art lover and collectors who bid for these expensive paintings are all filthy rich! That’s one of the reasons why some paintings are bought for millions.

The worth of a painting also depends on its age as well as its painter’s popularity or his being dead. Yes! That is a very important factor in terms of setting a price for the piece. The popular and priceless piece of the Italian genius Leonardo da Vinci’s Monalisa is known as a masterpiece of art.

Its estimated price according to the market is around $952 million! Although, it has been barred from selling and set up for the people to admire in the Louvre Museum, France. So, here are the top 10 picks of the expensive paintings which got the highest bid in the world.

10. Wasserschlangen II ($170 million)

This magical oil painting is a masterpiece of the renowned symbolist painter of Australia, Gustav Klimt. Klimt completed this painting in 1907. Wasserschlangen II stands for Water Serpents II. This fine piece is the sequel to Water Serpents I, which showcases the sensuality of same-sex relationships through the beautiful portrayal of female bodies.

This painting is named a stolen art because it was stolen by the Nazis and is famous for a double-cross controversy during its sale in 2013. Presently, the painting is one of the most expensive paintings owned by an unnamed buyer from Qatari, sold by one of the biggest art collectors Dmitry Rybolovlev at $170 million.

9. Nu Couché (1917-18) ($170.4 million)

This painting is one of the most expensive paintings amongst the works of the Italian painter and sculptor, Amedeo Clemente Modigliani. He was known to be the expressionist in the world of modern art. Unlike the other artist of that era, his focus was on portraits and nudes with his avant-garde style.

“Nu Couché” is a French phrase for ‘reclining nude’, the genre of Modigliani’s paintings. This 60cm x 92cm oil on canvas painting bagged the highest bid at Christie’s, the British auction house in 2015 setting a world record for Modigliani’s paintings.

The painting was bought using an American Express card by a Chinese couple, Liu Yiqian and Wang Wei from Shanghai for their private museum.

 8. Version O of Les Femmes d’Alger (1955) ($179.4 million)

This particular painting is one of the versions from the series of Les Femmes d’Alger by the renowned Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. The series was inspired by the 1834 painting ‘The Women of Algiers in their Apartment’ by Eugène Delacroix.

Amongst the series, there are 9 paintings (Version C, F, H, J, K, L, M, N, and O) that are considered as most notable. While all the notable paintings were sold at hefty prices and possessed under private as well as public collections, Version O acquired the title of most expensive painting among them.

Being the last painting of the tribute series that Picasso created for his reverent artist Eugène Delacroix, Version O of Les Femmes d’Alger was auctioned at Christie’s at $179.4 million. The former Qatari Prime Minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani got possession of this exceptional work of Picasso in 2015.

7. Portraits of Maerten Soolmans & Oopjen Coppit ($180 million)

Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit are among the astounding and expensive paintings by Rembrandt, an innovative Dutch painter. These two portraits are the wedding portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit painted in 1634.

The portraits were owned by the subject’s heirs until 1877 when they were sold to Gustave Samuel de Rothschild. Currently, these exclusive and expensive paintings are in the joint ownership of two museums, Louvre Museum in Paris and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, through a private sale.

This one-of-a-kind deal enables a joint purchase of $ 180 million between the two museums splitting the price in half. There is an inter-governmental agreement state to keep these portraits together alternatively by both museums for an agreed period.

 6. No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) ($186 million)

This painting is one of the most brilliant, most appreciated, and most expensive paintings of the Latvian-American abstract expressionist, Mark Rothko. This painting came into existence in 1951. Rothko’s work is famous for his Colour Field artwork. No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) is the precise portrayal of expansive fields of the three colors through rugged and hazy shades.

The actual motive of Rothko was to immerse his viewers in the variations of his colorful paintings by making them on huge canvases! The variations of the tones in this painting are what make it so interesting.

This painting fetched a whopping fortune of $186 million from Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian billionaire who bought it in a private sale from Yves Bouvier, a Swiss businessman, and art dealer.

5. Number 17A ($200 million)

This 112 cm x 86.5 cm fibreboard oil painting is the masterstroke of the great abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock. This is the painting that made the name of Jackson Pollock famous.

This painting is a drip painting, which is created by splashing liquid paint on the horizontal fibreboard creating abstracts that can be viewed from all angles giving new impressions. It is listed on rank 5 in the list of most expensive paintings as it was bought by Kenneth C. Griffin from David Geffen at $200 million!

4. Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) ($229 million)

Expensive Painting in the World

The title of this painting is in the Tahitian language as the picture itself is a primitive representation of the beautiful rural culture of the Tahitian rural community. The French impressionist artist Paul Gaugin painted this picture in 1892 with the view to attain the feeling of an artistic paradise by creating a pure form of primitive art.

This painting was one of his most blissful works and also one of the most expensive paintings in the world. This oil painting was sold to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani privately by Rudolf Staechelin in 2015. This expensive painting was sold at a whopping price of $210 million which later on adjusted for inflation at $229 million.

Top 3 Most Expensive Paintings are below

3. The Card Players ($288 million)

Expensive Paintings in the World

This painting is another masterpiece of oil on canvas medium painting. “The Card Players” holds the third position in terms of the most expensive paintings in the world. There was a total of 5 paintings that were presented in this series. Amongst the five, the painting with two men playing cards with a pipe in one’s mouth, grabbed the highest bid.

The French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne’s still life paintings are very much admired by art lovers. But this particularly bagged the highest bid and became one of the most expensive paintings ever sold!

This expensive painting was bought by the Royal Family of Qatar in 2011 for an exorbitant amount of over $250 million that is estimated to be around $288 million to $300 million today!

2. Interchange ($328 million)

Most Expensive Painting

This is a brilliant work of abstract painting by Willem de Kooning a revolutionary abstract expressionist. He was known to be the early artist of America’s modern art movement. This painting centers on a seated woman made through fleshy pink color.

The artist’s swift gestural marks made with utmost passion can be seen in the 200.7 cm x 175.3 cm canvas. The painting ‘Interchange’ or ‘Interchanged’ was completed in the year 1955.

This painting holds third place in the list of expensive paintings in the world. It was initially sold by the artist himself for just $4000 in 1955 and ultimately sold to Kenneth C. Griffin by the David Geffen foundation at $300 million (approx.) in 2015.

However, the price has been estimated to be $338 million as the exact amount was kept confidential. It is named the second most expensive painting in the world.

1. Salvator Mundi (c. 1500) ($475.4 million)

Most Expensive Paintings

The name is in Latin, which means ‘Saviour of the World’; the painting of Christ, holding an orb in his left hand and right upraised in blessing. The reason for the painting getting the highest bid of over $450 million is that it’s Leonardo da Vinci’s last work!

This painting of Christ in the Renaissance theme was completed around 1500. The painting is full of controversies related to the way Christ has been depicted and also related to the authenticity of the painting. When found in 2005 in a small auction in New Orleans, it was in a bad shape.

But it was restored, analyzed for authenticity, and put up for auction as a lost original at National Gallery London in the Leonardo exhibition. The world’s most expensive painting is in the possession of Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia.

The estimated value is said to be $475.4 million after an inflation adjustment. It is acquired on behalf of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism.

Conclusion of The Most Expensive Paintings

Conclusion of The Most Expensive Painting

All these famous and incredibly expensive paintings of the world are also very controversial. Result of that they are always a matter of discussion in high societies. These symbols of art are valued more than they are appreciated.

Due to the stories related to them or their artists and belonging from a much earlier era they are bided at an exorbitant price. The opulent group of the world is always in search of ways to use their money on these kinds of classic items. These paintings are more of a luxury item for them rather than art!

Summary

Here is a quick list of Expensive Paintings in the World

  1. Salvator Mundi(c. 1500) – $475.4 million
  2. Interchange – $328 million
  3. The Card Players – $288 million
  4. Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) – $229 million
  5. Number 17A – $200 million
  6. No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) – $186 million
  7. Portraits of Maerten Soolmans & Oopjen Coppit – $180 million
  8. Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O) (1955) – $179.4 million
  9. Nu Couché(1917-18) – $170.4 million
  10. Wasserschlangen II – $170 million

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Hi there! I am Kajal. I hail from Kolkata. I have written some quality content on Movies, Celebrities, and the entertainment world. Though I hold a master's degree in Commerce, I am intent on making fascinating and informative content of all sorts.

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