It is said that art is priceless – so precious that its value cannot be determined. However, when it is determined, it can be staggeringly high! Scroll down to take a look at some of the most expensive artworks created by the maestros of the art world.
1. Reclining Nude by Amedeo Modigliani – $170 million
Reclining Nude is a 20th-century oil on canvas painting. It is perhaps the most popular paintings of Modigliani’s celebrated line of nude artworks. Created in 1917, the painting is now set on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
2. The Women of Algiers by Pablo Picasso – $179 million
Pablo Picasso is one of the biggest names in the world of arts. So, it does not come as a surprise that one of his masterpieces – The Women of Algiers – is included in the list of the most expensive paintings sold at auctions. It was sold for $179.4 million on May 11, 2015. While the identity of the buyer was never disclosed, it is speculated that the painting was bought by the emirates of Qatar.
3. Number 17A by Jackson Pollock – $202 million
Jackson Pollock is a name associated with the abstract expressionist movement. In 1948, he revealed an abstract masterpiece called Number 17A. The intricate details of the painting are simply mind-boggling. In 2015, the painting was sold to an American billionaire, Kenneth C. Griffin. The one-of-a-kind oil on fiberboard painting is now part of his private collection.
4. The Card Players by Paul Cezanne – $274 million
Created between 1890 and 1895, the Card Players continues to fascinate art lovers to this day. The Card Players is not a single painting but a series of 5. All 5 pieces are scattered around the world. One of them was sold to the Qatari Royal family in 2011.
5. Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci – $450 million
Leonardo da Vinci requires no introduction. His most expensive artwork is Salvator Mundi. For years, the painting was thought to be a copy. However, it was rediscovered and restored in 2012. It is an awe-inspiring, captivating painting of Jesus in a Renaissance dress. The painting was acquired by Abu Dhabi’s department of tourism. It is displayed at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
6. Meules, 1890 by Claude Monet – $110,747,000
Claude Monet is a renowned French painter. He is known as the founder of French Impressionist Painting. One of his most famous paintings is Meules – known as Haystacks in English. It is said that a wealthy Chicago socialite acquired the painting directly from Monet’s dealer somewhere in the 1890s. It remained in the family until it was auctioned in 1986. In 2019, the painting was up for the grabs again and was sold at an astonishing price of $110.7 million!
7. Buffalo II, 1964 by Robert Rauschenberg –$88,805,000
It is said that art is a form of expression. This is especially true for Buffalo II that managed to capture the social and political zeitgeist of its era. It is a one-of-a-kind silkscreen painting by Robert Rauschenberg.
8. Interchange by Willem Kooning – $300,000,000
Another marvelous piece of abstract art, Interchange was created by the Dutch-American painter William Kooning. He is known for his abstract expressionism and this oil on canvas wonder is the best example of his work. The painting was bought by Kenneth C. Griffin in 2015 and is currently on display at the Art Institute of Chicago.
9. Untitled by Jean-Michel Basquiat – $110.5 million
Basquiat’s Untitled (1982) depicts a black skull with angry eyes and clenched teeth. It is an expressionist painting that signifies the history of slavery. In 2017, it fetched an amazing price of over $110 million!
10. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt – $135 Million
Commissioned by the husband of the lady in the painting, Adele, this painting is also referred to as lady in Gold. It is a fine work of art that represents the Golden Phase of the celebrated artist. It is also one of the most expensive artworks in the world!
These are some of the most expensive artworks ever sold. They are certainly incredible pieces of art and while it may not be possible for you to acquire them for your private collection, it is always fascinating to learn about paintings that broke all records and fetched staggeringly high prices at art auctions.