You can never tell the value of artwork with the price tag, and most works of art in museums and private collections worldwide are priceless. But this is also the reality that some of the most classic works of art are sold and bought for high prices that the vast majority of us can never afford. And, without being a billionaire, a hedge fund shareholder, or a dynasty of any kind, purchasing all this kind of artwork will be a distant dream.
Just like buying watches, cars, and yachts, purchasing artwork, has been a primary status symbol for the wealthy for all of recorded history. So, let’s take a look at the 10 most valuable paintings of the world that have been purchased by the wealthiest artwork appraisers.
Les Femmes d’ Alger (Version) by Pablo Picasso
Price: $179.5 Million
This icon is a colorful display of geometric shapes and angles. Pablo Picasso completed this sequence of one 15 different concepts about Women of Algiers in one painting. He took the inspiration from the 19th-century Spanish artist Eugene Delacroix. Pablo created this kind of geometric series for more than 15 times and named it the “O” series. He completed the last version in 1955. The buyer of this masterpiece remained anonymous. However, some voices in the art community have claimed that this painting was purchased by the former prime minister of Qatar, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabar Al Thani in 2015.
Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt
Price: $180 Million
Image Source: Wikipedia
Rembrandt designed this collection of two paintings to celebrate the wedding of Maerten and Oopjen in 1634. Classic portrait seldom fetches stratospheric prices, but these two paintings, which were his first full-length portraiture works, were so incredible that it made the Rothchild family pay the amount of 180 million dollars to own them. In 2015, when the family of Rothschild wanted to sell these pieces, which were rarely shown in the media, two galleries lined up for the purchase. Now, the owners of these two paintings are Rijksmuseum from Amsterdam and the Louvre from Paris. Now the question is, how do they own the never splitting portraits of a couple? Well, they have set the turns for showcasing this valued artwork in their art galleries.
Wasserschlangen II by Gustav Klimt
Price: $183.8 Million
Gustav Klimt, a successful Austrian artist who painted this cheerful artwork in his “Golden Phase” in 1904. In the making of this stunning work, he used gold leaf lent and adored it with shiny stars and barnacles. Wasserschlangen, which means the ‘water serpents,’ was purchased in 2012 from the Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier by the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for 183.8 million dollars.
No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) by Mark Rothko
Price: $186 Million
Image Source: Amazon.com
You might not see anything unique in this, but this painting of Mark Rothko has had a vital impact on conceptual art since it was first released. Mark Rothko, who was an American painter, made this astounding piece of contemporary art in 1951. He was famous for abstract art, and his designs are mostly distinguished by the use of large canvas and brightly colored horizontal bands. Just after two years of the purchase of Wasserschlangen, the Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev was succeeded to buy this artwork of Mark, from Yves Bouvier.
Number 17A by Jackson Pollock
Price: $200 Million
Image Source: Pinterest
In the post-WWII art movement, abstract expressionism was at the peak that emphasized the subconscious and spontaneous creation. In this movement, an American abstract-impressionist, Pollock also took part by making a series of paintings with his popular dripping paint technique. And from that series of paintings, ‘Number 17A’ caught the attention when it was featured in the 1947 Life magazine article that made the painting a household name. This classic painting has organic lines with red, yellow, blue, grey droplets in various shades. This might look like a mess, but when you examine it intimately, irregular shapes do not seem too unclear.
‘Number 17a’ was bought as part of a deal of US$500 million, with David Geffen, who also bought ‘Interchange’ along with this.
Nafea Faa Ipoipo by Paul Gauguin
Price: $210 Million
Image Source: BBC.com
The first trip of French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin to Tahiti inspired him with the women of that island. This made him stay in Tahiti for six years, only to paint his native women on the canvas. However, his portrait of two Tahitian girls, Nafea Faa Ipoipo, which means “When Will You Marry” got the attention of many art appraisers. In this art, Paul characterized two ladies in the bright gold, green, and blue landscape. His work of art was sold for about $210 million in 2015 in a private sale by the Qatar museum Swiss collector Rudolf Staechelin.
The Card Players by Paul Cézanne
Price: $250 Million
Image Source: Widewalls
This artwork by Paul Cézanne is one of those iconic paintings that you definitely would not fail to recognize, right? As this painting, has been circulating in art history books and famous magazines, for many years. The Card Players is among the group of five paintings that were designed by the fabulous Paul Cézanne during 1892-93. This painting shows a Provencal pair of peasants sitting at a table in a card game and practicing their hands. Again Qatar, the family bought this artwork in 2011 by paying the amount of 250 million dollars.
Interchange by Willem de Kooning
Price: $300 Million
Image Source: Pinterest
Do you guys remember when Ken Griffin made a deal of whopping amount of 500 million dollars while purchasing two paintings of David Geffen? Well, the second painting, which was purchased for an equally impressive amount of $300 was, “Interchange.” It is an oil-canvas painting by the Dutch-American painter William de Kooning and believed to be one of his first abstract landscape works. This one of the most expensive painting is currently displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci
Price: $450.3 Million
Image Source: Ars Mundi
Salvator Mundi is not only the most expensive painting of the current times but is the only Da Vinci painting in private hands. It is also one of fewer than 20 the old master painting in oil by the legend of arts.
Salvatore went missing from 1763 to 1900 until a British art collector purchased it from a sale. However, the art dealers spent six years restoring and researching the history and authenticity of this painting. Besides all of the uncertainties, it was still purchased with a high price tag. Salvator is also the only work by Da Vinci that was kept in a private collection because the others are housed in libraries, museums, and churches.
This stunning painting was bought by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Muhammad Bin Salman. He purchased this incredible painting for the Culture & Tourism Department of Abu Dhabi. Plans are that The Prince will display this art in the future at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
Price: $700 Million
Image Source: artdependence.com
No doubt that Mona Lisa that was the authentic painting of the master of the High Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, is incredible. This is why it is almost impossible to set a price tag on a masterpiece of this quality. However, in 1962, Mona Lisa got $100 million compensation that was the highest amount of that time. And this costs approximately $700 million today, making it the most valuable painting in the world!
Mona Lisa is believed to be a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, who is the wife of Florentine cloth merchant Francesco Del Giocondo. Currently, it is plac