List of most expensive paintings

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This is a list of the highest prices paid for paintings. Very valuable paintings, if sold, are usually sold at auctions.

The world's most famous paintings, especially works done before 1800, are generally owned by museums, which very rarely sell them, and as such, they are quite literally priceless. Guinness World Records lists the Mona Lisa as having the highest insurance value for a painting in history. It was assessed at US$100 million on December 14, 1962, before the painting toured the United States for several months. However, the Louvre chose to spend the money that would have been spent on the insurance premium on security instead. Taking inflation into account, the 1962 value would be approximately US$670 million in 2006.


[edit] List of highest prices paid at auctions or private sales (inflation adjusted)

This list is ordered by consumer price index inflation-adjusted value (in bold) in millions of 2008 United States dollars. Where necessary, the price is first converted to dollars using the exchange rate at the time the painting was sold. The inflation adjustment may change as recent inflation rates are often revised. A list in another currency would probably be in a slightly different order due to exchange rate fluctuations. Paintings are only listed once, i.e. for the highest price sold.

Adjusted price (in millions) Original price (in millions) Painting Artist Year Year of sale Seller Buyer Auction house
$149.6 $140 No. 5, 1948 Jackson Pollock 1948 2006 David Geffen David Martinez ? private sale
$147.0 $137.5 Woman III Willem de Kooning 1953 2006 David Geffen Steven A. Cohen private sale via Larry Gagosian
$144.4 $135 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I Gustav Klimt 1907 2006 Maria Altmann Ronald Lauder, Neue Galerie private sale
$136.1 $82.5 Portrait of Dr. Gachet Vincent van Gogh 1890 1990 Siegfried Kramarsky family Ryoei Saito [1] Christie's, New York
$128.8 $78.1 Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1876 1990 Betsey Whitney Ryoei Saito [2] Sotheby's, New York
$118.9 $104.2 Garçon à la pipe Pablo Picasso 1905 2004 Greentree foundation (Whitney family) Sotheby's, New York
$102.3 $53.9 Irises Vincent van Gogh 1889 1987 son of Joan Whitney Payson Alan Bond [3] Sotheby's, New York
$101.8 $95.2 Dora Maar au Chat Pablo Picasso 1941 2006 Gidwitz family Sotheby's, New York
$100.8 $58 plus exchange of works "Portrait of Joseph Roulin" Vincent van Gogh 1889 1989 Swiss private Collection Museum of Modern Art New York Private sale[4] via Thomas Ammann Fine Art Zurich
$94.6 $71.5 Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe Vincent van Gogh 1889 1998 heirs of Jacques Koerfer Christie's, New York
$94.0 $87.9 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II Gustav Klimt 1912 2006 Maria Altmann Christie's, New York
$91.9 $76.7 (£49.5) Massacre of the Innocents Peter Paul Rubens 1611 2002 an Austrian family Kenneth Thomson [5] Sotheby's, London
$86.3 $86.3 Triptych, 1976 Francis Bacon 1976 2008 Roman Abramovich [8] Sotheby's, New York
$85.7 $49.3 (F300) Les Noces de Pierrette Pablo Picasso 1905 1989 Fredrik Roos Tomonori Tsurumaki Binoche et Godeau Paris
$85.6 $80.0 False Start [6] Jasper Johns 1959 2006 David Geffen Kenneth C. Griffin private sale via Richard Gray
$85.1 $57 A Wheatfield with Cypresses Vincent van Gogh 1889 1993 son of Emil Georg Bührle Walter H. Annenberg [7] private sale via Steven Mazoh
$83.2 $47.85 Yo, Picasso Pablo Picasso 1901 1989 Wendell Cherry Stavros Niarchos Sotheby's, New York
$80.4 $80.4 (£40.9) Le Bassin aux Nymphéas Claude Monet 1919 2008 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Christie's, London
$78.3 $60.5 Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier [8] Paul Cézanne 1894 1999 Whitney Family Sotheby's, New York
$75.7 $72.8 White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) Mark Rothko 1950 2007 David Rockefeller, Sr. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani[9] Sotheby's, New York
$75.4 $39.7 (£24.75) Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers Vincent van Gogh 1888 1987 daughter-in-law of Chester Beatty Yasuo Goto, Yasuda Comp. Christie's, London
$74.6 $71.7 Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) Andy Warhol 1963 2007 Private Collection, Switzerland Christie's, New York
$70.8 $40.7 Au Lapin Agile Pablo Picasso 1904 1989 daughter of Joan Whitney Payson Walter H. Annenberg Sotheby's, New York
$70.6 $70.6 (£50) Diana and Actaeon Titian 1556-1559 2009 Duke of Sutherland National Galleries of Scotland & National Gallery, London private sale [9] [10] [11]
$70.2 $38.5 (£20.9) Acrobate et jeune Arlequin [10] Pablo Picasso 1905 1988 heir of Roger Janssen? Mitsukoshi Christie's, London
$68.9 $55.0 Femme aux Bras Croisés Pablo Picasso 1902 2000 McCormick family, Chicago Christie's, New York
$67.9 $63.5 Police Gazette Willem de Kooning 1955 2006 David Geffen Steven A. Cohen private sale, Richard Gray Gallery
$65.0 $48.4 Le Rêve [11] Pablo Picasso 1932 1997 Ganz family Wolfgang Flöttl [12] Christie's, New York.
$64.2 $49.6 Femme assise dans un jardin Pablo Picasso 1938 1999 Robert Saidenberg Sotheby's, New York
$63.8 $47.5 Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat Vincent van Gogh 1890 1997 Stephen Wynn [12] private sale via Acquavella Galleries Inc., New York
$61.2 $35.2 Portrait of a Halberdier Pontormo 1537 1989 Chauncey Devereaux Stillman Getty Museum Christie's, New York

[edit] Gallery

[edit] Notes

  1. ^ Reportedly, Gachet's portrait was privately resold to a European buyer in 1997 or 1998 for $65-$90 million through Sotheby’s [1] [2]
  2. ^ Privately resold for ca. $50 million through Sotheby’s in 1997 [3]
  3. ^ Alan Bond could not pay off the painting, and Irises was resold (probably for somewhat less) to the Getty Museum.
  4. ^ Kimmelman, Michael: How the MoMA got the Van Gogh, New York Times, 09 October 1989.
  5. ^ Later in 2002, Thomson donated his private collection, including the Rubens, to the Art Gallery of Ontario [4]
  6. ^ Most expensive painting by a living artist
  7. ^ Annenberg donated it subsequently to the Metropolitan Museum of Art
  8. ^ Steve Wynn, who bid on the painting at auction, privately acquired the work several months later from the unidentified buyer for an undisclosed, supposedly lower price. Kenneth Griffin acquired it in 2004 from Wynn [5]. Some news articles, probably by mistake, claim that Griffin was the buyer at Sotheby's in 1999 [6].
  9. ^ Thornton, Sarah; Adam, Georgina (May 4, 2008), "Revealed: $72.8m Rockefeller Rothko has gone to Qatar", The Art Newspaper, 
  10. ^ resold for £12m to Stavros Niarchos in 1993
  11. ^ In October 2006, Steve Wynn purportedly agreed to sell Le Rêve to Steven Cohen for $139 million, but Wynn accidentally elbowed a hole in the middle of the canvas, thus scuppering the sale. The sale would have made Le Rêve the most expensive painting at the time.
  12. ^ On Oct. 7, 2005, The New York Times reported that Steven Cohen bought van Gogh's "Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat" and Gauguin's "Bathers" (1903) from Steve Wynn for approximately $110 million [7], though guesses range from $100-150 million. One or both of the paintings may thus occur higher on this list.

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