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Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings In the World

One of the greatest thing that was happening continuously through history is art. We should be so grateful that our art museums are full with amazing artists, paintings, style and movements.

There is a little bit for everyone’s taste when it comes to culture. And then there are those paintings that simply make our hearts melt so quickly that in order to stop it we need to have the painting only for ourselves.

That would be perfect, if only those paintings aren’t so expensive. To some of us they might be a luxury, but there are people who can afford buying expensive art and they don’t have anything against spending a huge amount of money on it.

You will be surprised at how much a person can spend on it! Check out the list below and see which paintings are sold for the highest prices.

1. When Will You Marry?


When Will You Marry? is an oil painting from 1892 by Paul Gauguin and it is part of the post – impressionism movement. It was sold in February this year to an unknown buyer for almost $300m and at the moment the painting is on exibition at the Foundation Beyeler in Switzerland. Paul Gauguin visited Tahiti in 1891 where he wanted to make an art inspired by the “primitive” culture there, but he was disappointed with what he witnessed: many indigenous people from the island were killed because of the diseases that the Europeans brought when they previously visited the island and due to the colonization, the “primitive” culture wasn’t so primitive. However, he decided to paint the Tahiti women wearing traditional clothes and that’s how the When Will You Marry? was born.

2. The Card Players



The Card Players is the second most expensive art that was ever sold. These series of five oil paintings by the artist Paul Cézanne are bought by the Qatar Royal Family for a price estimated between $250 – 300m. These post – impressionism masterpieces are showing peasants, focused on playing cards and smoking their pipes. While painting The Card Players, Cézanne was inspired by the 17th century French and Dutch motif of paintings showing the similar topic: men, taverns, cards. Two of the versions are at the moment in Courtauld Institute of Art in London and in a private collection, one is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, other is owned and displayed by the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the most popular version of all is at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. The exact dates on when did Cézanne painted the series of card players isn’t known.

3. Violet, Green and Red



Russion multimillionaire bought this painting by american painter Mark Rothko for $186 million. “Violet, Red and Green”, or also known as “No. 6” is one of the most popular paintings of Rothko, next to “Black, Maroons and White” and “Four Red”. Rothko who was a student at Yale was never really interested in                     representational art, so as time passed his painting style included colorful rectangulars. The painting, not onty that is the third most expensive art ever sold, it is also the most expensive painting by and American painter.

4. Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)


Les Femmes d’Alger is one of the greatest masterpieces by cuban painter Pablo Picasso, painted in 1955. The Version O is also a part of painting series Les femmes, but this version is the most expensive one. It was sold to the former prime minister of Qatar Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani for $179.4 million in May 2015. This was the second time the painting version O was at auction, the first time at Christie’s in New York was in 1997 when it was sold for $31.9 million. Picasso started painting this series of paintings few weeks after his dear friend and rival at the same time Henri Matisse had passed away.

5. No. 5, 1948



No. 5, 1948 is a painting by expressionist Jackson Pollock. It was sold for $165.4 million and before that American heir and businessman Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr owned it and displayed the painting at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The painting is quite abstract. It has a drizzle of brown and yellow and other colors on a dark background or a fribreboard to be precise. Because of that, it is easily perceived as a bird’s nest. Even though the painting was done in 1948, Pollock worked on it again in the next years due to certain damages.

6. Le Réve


This is another painting by Pablo Picasso. It is said that this piece of art was painted in one afternoon in 1932 and that it represents his 22-year-old mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. The painting was sold to billionaire Steven Cohen who bought it for $158.5 million. Before Cohen buying it, unfortunately the painting was damaged by it’s former keeper. It was an accident in which he wanted to show the painting to his friend and ended up with creating six – inch tear with his elbow. The owner spent $90.000 on repairing and soon the price of the painting went up.

7. Woman III



This is a painting by another abstract expressionist painter, Willem de Kooning. It is an aoil painting that De Kooning done it in 1953. He also painted a whole series of paintings by the name Women, but the third brought him the success. According to some art critics, this American – Dutch painter created a rather messy art of a woman, than presenting the reality. The critics believe that this might be because of his relationship with his mother earlier in his teenage years. However, that painting made him famous and it was sold to billionaire Stephen A. Cohen for $137.5 million.

8. Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I


The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is one of the most prettiest paintings by painter Gustav Klimt. It took him three years to complete the masterpiece, but we can see that all the effort was worth it. The painting was commissioned by  rich businessman Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer who wanted Klimt to make a portrait of his wife, Adele. She is the only woman that Klimt made two portraits of. However, during the World War II, the paintings was in the hands of the German forces and even though later Ferdinand designated all the paintings including the portrait to belong to his nephew and nieces, the Austrian government refused to give it back. After decades and a hard court battle, the Altmann family related to Bauer took back the painting in 2006 and sold it for 135 million dollars.

9. Portrait of Dr. Gachet


Portrait of Dr. Gachet is a painting by famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Dr. Gachet is actually the doctor who took care for Van Gogh in the last months of his life. At the beginning, the painter didn’t like Dr. Gachet and thought that he is even sicker than him, but soon in a letter to his brother Theo he is saying that now the doctor is a dear friend of him. There is also second version of the portrait, which is in Musée d’Orsay, while the first version was sold in 1990 for $82.5 million and in that time it was the highest price for a painting ever.

10. Three Studies of Lucian Freud


Irish painter Francis Bacon painted this oil painting in 1969. The painting is actually a series of three big portraits of Lucian Freud, a close friend of his, but an artistic rival as well. Bacon had a large studio at the Royal College of Art in London where he also painted the Three Portraits of Lucian Freud, but other paintings too. The first exhibition of the painting was in 1970 in Turin. The friendship between Freud and Bacon ended in the 1970’s due to an argument. The portraits were sold in in 2013 for 142.4 million dollars.

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