Art plays an essential part in our society, it idolises the world as a better place, which is filled with colour and life. It creates a sense of pleasure and excitement through various beautiful and creative pieces of artwork. It allows artists to express their imaginations, beliefs, perspectives and feelings. These genuine and authentic displays of wondrous pieces of artwork have been a keen interest for various elites around the world who spend fortunes on obtaining the ownership of such one of a kind painting. Here is an updated list of the 10 most expensive paintings ever sold at public auctions or private sales:
1. Paul Gauguin – Nafea Faa ipoipo? (When will you marry?)
This is one of the most famous and reproduced images that Gauguin has created where it shows two Tahitian native women where one is wearing a traditional Tahitian dress and the other one has a serious expression, wearing a mission dress. It has been sold at $300 million (£200m) to Qatar Museums.
2. Paul Cezanne – The Card Players
It is one of the last versions of Paul Cezanne’s famous composition. The painting is famous for depicting the psychological intensity in the face of the players and is considered a prominent masterpiece. It was sold to the Royal Family of Qatar at $250 million.
3. Pablo Picasso – Les Femme d’Alger, 1995
Even though this piece of artwork may not be considered, as Picasso’s most important works but it is considered as one of the most famous late works. Private collector in Saudi Arabia sold it at an absurd amount of $179.4 million at an auction, however the buyer remains anonymous.
4. Pablo Picasso – La Reve, 1932
It is considered to be one his most sensational artwork where he shows the lover Marie-Therese Walter sitting on a red armchair with her eyes closed depicted her love. For $139 million, Mr. Steve Wynn agreed to sell the painting to Steven A. Cohen until Mr. Wynn damaged the work accidently.
5. Francis Bacon – Three Studies of Lucian Freud, 1969
Before Picasso’s Les Femmes, Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud was the most expensive painting ever auctioned at $142.4 million.
6. Jackson Pollock – Number 5, 1948
At the time it was painted the painting was considered to the most expensive contemporary art to be ever sold. The exact price remains to be a mystery but it demonstrated the importance of the art market and the increasing interest in contemporary art. At $140 million, it was rumoured to be sold to a Mexican businessman called David Martinez.
7. Willem De Kooning – Woman III, 1952-53
It is the remaining painting available in private hands and one of these women painted by Willem de Kooning has been referred to as “black goddess” by T.Hess and is considered as one of the 50 masterworks of historic paintings. At $137.5 million, David Geffen sold it to Steven Cohen.
8. Gustav Klimt – Adele Bloch-Bauer I, 1907
It belonged to a group of 5 paintings, which was recently given back to the heirs of Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer after being confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. After which it was placed in the National Gallery of Austria in 1948 and then auctioning to Ronald Lauder for $135 million.
9. Edvard Munch – The Scream, 1895
Considered one of the most expensive painting sold before Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud beat it. It is one of the most colourful displays of art as compared to the other versions of Edvard Munch’s masterpieces. It was sold at $119.9 million to an anonymous buyer.
10. Jasper Johns – Flag, 1958
‘Flags’ are the most famous and prominent work of jasper Johns and this particular painting has been sold at $110 million to Steven Cohen.