The Most Expensive Paintings in the World

These are some of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi

Sold in a Christie’s auction in November 2017 for US$450.3 million (A$576.3 million), Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi holds the title of the most expensive painting ever sold. Painted between 1490 and 1500, the painting was long mistaken for a copy before research finally confirmed that it was an authentic Leonardo da Vinci. The painting was bought by Prince Badr bin Abdullah on behalf of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, but it has been disputed that Abdullah was only a stand-in for Mohammed bin Salman.


Willem de Kooning’s Interchange

Painted by Dutch-American abstract expressionist artist Willem de Kooning, the 1955 artwork was sold in a private sale between the David Geffen Foundation and Kenneth C. Griffin for $US300 million (A$383 million). The painting is the second most expensive painting ever sold and is now on display in the Art Institute of Chicago.


Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players

Purchased by the nation of Qatar for US$250 million (A$320 million) in 2011, The Card Players is one of five oil paintings in The Card Players series. The other four paintings belong to highly renowned galleries and museums, including the Musée d’Orsay and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Painted by French post-impressionist artist, Paul Cézanne, the painting was owned by Greek shipping mogul George Embiricos until his death in 2011.


Paul Gauguin’s Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?)

The family of Swiss art collector, Rudolf Staechelin, sold Paul Gauguin’s When Will You Marry for US$210 million (A$270 million) in a private sale to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani. The 1982 post-impressionist work had been on loan to the Kunstmuseum in Basel for almost 50 years before its monumental sale in September 2014.

File:Paul Gauguin, Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?) 1892, oil on canvas, 101 x 77 cm.jpg

Jackson Pollock’s Number 17A

Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionist painting was purchased by hedge fund billionaire, Kenneth C. Griffin, for US$200 million (A$256.2 million) in a private sale. The 1948 oil on fibreboard piece depicts Pollock’s famous drip painting technique and was notably featured in the 1949 edition of Life magazine, credited with making Pollack a celebrity.


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