30 Most Expensive Paintings in the World in 2021

How magical can creations be? Do you often get intensified, lost, and mesmerized when you see any art pieces hanging in the gallery?

And try to find out the hidden meaning behind every color mark, shape, expression, emotion, and idea they try to evoke to you?

Well, masterpieces like Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Vincent’s “Starry Night” are the most treasured paintings of all time.

Worthy of more than $850 million and could be sold for a staggering $50 billion, Mona Lisa is aesthetically and historically priceless.

Due to its profound significance, Da Vinci’s highly acclaimed painting Mona Lisa is preserved at the Louvre Museum in Paris, depicting the eternal beauty of the classic Renaissance.

Whereas Vincent’s 1899 artwork Starry Night is the portrayal of the breathtaking view of his village just before the sunrise from the window of his asylum room in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.

Quick Overview

 Painting Artist   Created Date  Price
 30. Portrait of Dr. Gachet Vincent Van Gogh 1890 $82.5 million 
 29. Suprematist Composition Kazimir Malevich 1916 $85.8 million
 28. Portrait Of A Young Man Holding A Roundel Sandro Botticelli 1480 $92.1 million
 27. Nurse Roy Lichtenstein 1964 $95.3 million
 26. Dora Maar au Chat Pablo Picasso 1905 $104 million
25. Garçon à la Pipe Pablo Picasso  

1941

$104 million
 24. Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) Andy Warhol  1963 $105.4 million
 23. Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust Pablo Picasso  1932 $106.5 million 
 22. UNTITLED Jean-Michel Basquiat  1982  $110.5 million
 21. Meules Claude Monet  1890  $110.7 million
20. Fillete à  la Corbeille Fleurie Pablo Picasso 1905  $115 million
 19. The Scream Edvard Munch  1893  $119.9 million
 18. Portrait of Adele Bloch- Bauer I Gustav Klimt  1907  $135 million
 17. Woman III Willem de Kooning 1953 $137.5 million
 16. No.5, 1948 Jackson Pollock  1948 $140 million
 15. Twelve Screens of Landscapes Qi Baishi  1925 $141 million
 14. Three Studies of Lucian Freud Francis Bacon  1969 $142.4 million
 13. Portrait of Adele Bloch- Bauer II Gustav Klimt 1912 $150 million
 12. Le Rêve Pablo Picasso 1932 $155 million
 11. Nu couché Amedeo Modigliani 1919 $157 million
 10. Masterpiece Roy Lichtenstein 1962 $165 million
 9. Water Serpents II Gustav Klimt 1907

 

$170 million
 8. Les Femmes d’ Alger Version “O” Pablo Picasso  1955 $179.3 million
 7. Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oojpen Coppit Rembrandt van Rijin  1634 $180 million
 6. No.6 (Violet, Green, and Red) Mark Rothko  1951 $186 million 
 5. Number 17 A Jackson Pollock  1948 $200 million 
 4. Nafea Fao Ipoipo Paul Gaugin 1892  $210 million
 3. The Card Players Paul Cézanne  1895 $250 million
 2. Interchange Willem de Kooning  1955 $300 million 
 1. Salvator Mundi Leonardo Da Vinci  1500 $450 million

 Most Expensive Paintings

The information & details has been compiled from reliable sites on the web including Cash Tips and Tricks, Kooness, etc.

30. Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Portrait-of-Dr.-Gachet
Portrait of Dr. Gachet (Source: Wikipedia)

A Dutch post-expressionism artist Vincent Van Gogh created the painting of Dr. Paul Gachet, who cared for him during his final months of life.

This authentic, vivid and etched painting shows the sad and heartbroken expression of Dr. Gachet looking at Vincent.

In 1990, Christie’s sold the painting for a whopping $82.5 million (now valued at $149.7 million.)

29. Suprematist Composition “Blue Rectangle Over the Red Beam”

On the 30 most expensive paintings of all time comes Suprematist Composition “Blue Rectangle Over the Red Beam.”

Suprematist-Composition
Suprematist Composition (Source: Wikipedia)

Renowned as the pioneer of abstract geometric artwork, the Russian artist Kazimir Malevich created the enchanting painting in 1916.

Moreover, the painting mainly portrays the blue rectangle over the red beam, including a constellation of colorful geometry flying in space.

Further, Christie’s auction sold the structural painting for a whopping $85.8 million in 2018. A British art collector Brett Gorvy purchased the tricky figures in gravity.

Suprematist Composition “Blue Rectangle Over the Red Beam” is the first Russian artwork to be sold at such a big-budget.

28. Portrait of a young man holding a roundel

The portrait of a young man holding a roundel is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Portrait-Of-A-Young-Man-Holding-A-Roundel
Portrait Of A Young Man Holding A Roundel (Source: Wikipedia)

An Italian painter Sandro Botticelli painted the portrait around 1480. Similarly, this painting offers the beauty of Florentine society during the early Renaissance.

In this painting, a noble young man is holding a roundel of a prestigious saint named Bartolomeo Bulgarini.

Moreover, the colors of the young man’s simple tunic are rich with a rare blue paint of that era.

In addition, the tempera paints on poplar wood make the painting more vibrant and pleasing to the viewer’s eyes.

Further, Sotheby’s auctioned the finest and preserved painting of Botticelli for a whopping $92.1 million in January 2021.

27. Nurse

Roy Lichtenstein painted Nurse in 1964.

The 60s comic romance inspired Lichtenstein to portray the bold character of Nurse.

Nurse-Pop-Art
Nurse Pop Art (Source: Wikipedia)

Auctioneers describe the painting as a vivid showpiece that moved art in a new direction.

Moreover, Christie’s sold the dynamic painting at a whopping $95.3 million.

26. Dora Marr au chat

The phenomenal Spanish cubist painter Pablo Picasso painted the Dora Marr au chat (Dora Maar and Cat) in 1941.

Similarly, Picasso used oil paints to portray his beloved mistress Dora Maar on the canvas.

In this painting, Dora is sitting on an armchair like a queen on her throne, and a black cat is resting on her shoulder.

The painting illustrates the detailed clothing of Maar, chair angles, and surreal art as a whole.

Dora-Maar-Au-Chat
Dora Maar Au Chat (Source: Wikipedia)

Moreover, the two angled faces make the painting more unusual. Picasso painted one half-eye looking straight to the viewer and another eye that shows Dora’s half of her full face.

Further, Sotheby’s sold the painting for a whopping $95.2 million in 2006.

25. Garçon à la Pipe

Picasso portrayed the character of a Parisian boy named “P’tit Louis” in this oil painting in 1904.

In this painting, a mature adolescent boy is dressed in all blue denim, a garland of red roses, and two bouquets of flowers surround him.

And the most strange part of the painting is that he holds the pipe in his left hand but in the opposite direction.

Garçon-à-la-pipe-Picasso
Garçon à la pipe Picasso (Source: Wikipedia)

Also, Picasso elaborated that the garland of red roses represents the blood of the Eucharist. The boy is an evil angel who has suffered through harsh street life but is innocent at his age.

He shares the contrasting character of innocence and experiences.

Further, Sotheby auctioned this moving painting in 2004 at a staggering $104 million.

24. Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)

An American artist Andy Warhol introduced this serigraph in 1960.

Moreover, the artwork portrays a body crushed inside the silver car accident.

Silver-Car-Crash-1963
Silver Car Crash 1963 (Source: Wikipedia)

Further, Sotheby auctioned this tragic art at a whopping $105.4 million in November 2013.

23. Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust

Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust have managed to add its name to the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Nude-Green-Leaves-and-Bust
Nude-Green-Leaves-and-Bust (Source: Wikipedia)

Picasso painted his beloved wife Marie-Thérèse Walter in the evocative blue lilac canvas in 1932.

Further, Christie’s auctioned the painting for a whopping $106.5 million.

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust was the third big-budget paintings sold during Picasso’s era.

22. UNTITLED

Basquiat created the artwork in 1982.

The painting depicts a blue canvas with a skull in its center. In addition, black, red, yellow, and white brushstrokes compose the channeling foundation of the skull.

Untitled-1982-Basquiat
Untitled 1982 Basquiat (Source: Wikipedia)

Moreover, Sotheby’s auctioned the painting for a whopping $110.5 million. A Japanese art collector Yusaku Maezawa bought this painting in 2017.

UNTITLED was the sixth most expensive art pieces of American artist ever sold in the history.

21. Meules

A French impressionist painter Claude Monet dramatic painting entitled Meules is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Claude-Monet-Meules
Claude Monet Meules (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Monet painted this haystack series in 1890. In this series, he portrays haystacks with transitional changes according to the time of the day, seasons, and weather.

Moreover, the painting’s unique blend from the changing natural atmosphere and light composures also makes it a captivating one.

Besides, it differs from the rest of Monet’s haystacks series.

Further, New York auctioned the Meules for a whopping $110.7 million, making Monet the first impressionist artist to break the sales record over $100 million.

Meules was the ninth most expensive paintings ever sold in the history.

20. Fillete à la Corbeille Fleurie

Pablo Picasso’s Fillette à la corbeille Fleurie is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Young-Girl-With-A-Flower-Basket-Picasso
Young Girl With A Flower Basket Picasso (Source: Wikipedia)

The painting is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Picasso created during his Rose Period in 1905.

Also renowned as Young Girl with a Flower Basket, Picasso shares the passage of innocence to experience, i.e., from youth to the phase of maturity in this painting.

Moreover, Picasso portrays a young girl named Linda, a Spanish name for “pretty,” who is a flower seller but also a child prostitute.

In this painting, Linda appears naked, innocent, covered with her white skin, pink ribbon around her dark hair, a necklace, and is holding a basket with red flowers. But, her face is tensed, and her silhouette in the blue background seems unpleasant.

Further, Christie auctioned the painting for a whopping $115 million in 2018.

19. The Scream

A Norwegian painter Edvard Munch’s breathtaking creation The Scream is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

The-Scream
The Scream (Source: Wikipedia)

Munch used pastel colors to create this expressionism art in 1893.

Moreover, Munch portrayed his experience while passing the bridge on an evening when he saw a blood-red sunset in the sky.

He felt like mother nature was screaming, and he was too worried seeing the bloody colors in the sky.

Similarly, the disturbed face of the man in the bridge also reflects human anxiety. Thus, it is the most relatable and perfectly created painting ever in terms of evoking human emotions.

Further, Sotheby’s auctioned this iconic painting at a whopping $119.9 million in 2012.

18. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Portrait-of-Adele-Blauch-Bauer
Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer (Source: Wikipedia)

An Austrian painter Gustav Klimt created this painting through the use of oil, silver, and gold on the canvas in 1907.

The painting portrays a German banker Ferdinand Blauch- Bauer’s beloved wife, Adele.

Klimt painted Adele with mostly gold on the canvas. Thus, the painting is also renowned as “The Lady in Gold.”

Moreover, the Nazis robbed this valuable painting of Adele and displayed it at Galerie Belvedere.

Later, after the death of Adele and Ferdinand, one of their nieces, Maria Altmann, legalized a case against the theft of the painting in the supreme court of the US.

After, seven years this painting was freed. Then, Altmann sold the painting at record-breaking $135 million to an art collector named Ronald Lauder.

“The Lady in Gold” was the most popular painting of Klimt’s during his golden age.

17. Woman III

A Dutch-American artist William de Kooning’s Woman III is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Woman-III
Woman III (Source: Wikipedia)

This 1953 painting is an abstract expressionism art mainly themed at a woman.

Moreover, billionaire Steven A. Cohen bought the painting for a staggering $137.5 million in 2006.

Woman III was the twelfth big-budget painting ever sold in the history.

16. No.5, 1948

No. 5, 1948 is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

No.-5, 1948
No. 5, 1948 (Source: GoHighBrow)

An American abstract painter Jackson Pollock created this art piece.

While glancing at the painting, one can see the grey, brown, white, and yellow oil paints drizzled in the fibreboard.

Many of the viewers recognize the painting as the structure of a dense bird’s nest.

On 22 May 2006, David Geffen sold the painting at a whopping $140 million.

15. Twelve Screens of Landscapes

A Chinese painter Qi Baishi’s Twelve Screens of Landscapes, is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Twelve-Screens-of-Landscape
Twelve Screens of Landscape (Source: Artnet News)

Baishi stroked the painting with his rich and expressive technique of calligraphy and brush paintings. Also, the dimensions of the painting are huge.

Further, Beijing Poly auctioned Baishi’s masterpiece at a whopping $141 million.

Twelve Screens of Landscapes is the first Chinese artwork to set a record sale of more than $100 million.

14. Three Studies of Lucian Freud

An Irish-born British painter Francis Bacon created the masterpiece in 1969.

Similarly, the painting portrays Bacon’s friend but artistic rival Lucian Freud, who is sitting on a cane-bottomed wooden chair and an open cage.

Likewise, the ground surface of the painting is curved and mottled brown. Whereas the surrounding background is orange colored.

Three-Studies-of-Lucian-Freud
Three Studies of Lucian Freud (Source: Wikipedia)

Also, Bacon applied his abstract, asymmetrical forms of oil painting techniques on it and framed it on three equal-sized panels.

Further, Christie’s auctioned the 20th-century showpiece of Bacon for a whopping $142.4 million.

13. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Gustav Klimt’s 1912 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

In this oil painting, Klimt portrayed his close friend and a noble lady of Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer, for the second time.

During World War I, Nazis robbed both of the paintings of Adele, which later her niece Maria Altmann restored through the aid of the US Supreme court.

Later, Christie’s auctioned Adele’s second painting at $88 million in November 2006, which Oprah Winfrey bought. It was the fourth-highest auctioned artwork during that time.

In 2016, Winfrey sold the painting to an unknown Chinese buyer at a whopping $150 million.

Temporarily, Neue Galerie New York displayed the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II depicting the “Klimt and the Women of Vienna Golden Age, 1900-1918.”

12. Le Rêve

Picasso’s 1932 oil painting Le Rêve is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Le-reve-1932
Le Reve 1932 (Source: Wikipedia)

Le Rêve, also known as “Dream,” Picasso portrays his 22-year old mistress Marie-Thèrése Walter in this asymmetrical, cubist painting.

Viewers can see Walter lying on a red chair. But, most people have criticized the painting as an erotic one.

However, the painting amassed a whopping $155 million through a private auction in 2013.

11. Nu Couché

Nu Couché is also known as the Red Nude, is one of the 30 most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Modigliani Nu couché (Source: Wikipedia)

This 1917 oil painting is one of the most popular nude art pieces of the Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani.

In this painting, a nude female is lying down on a blue cushion.

A Chinese billionaire Liu Yiqian bought the painting at a staggering $157 million in 2015, making it one of the highest prized paintings ever sold.

10. Masterpiece

Roy Lichtenstein’s 1962 pop art Masterpiece is the tenth most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Masteripiece-Lichtenstein (Source: Wikipedia)

The painting comprises two characters, a male and female, depicting the “Masterpiece” painting in an art gallery with a clever narration.

Further, Steven A. Cohen bought the artwork for a whopping $165 million in 2017.

9. Water Serpents II

Gustav Klimt’s 1907 oil painting Water Serpents II is the ninth most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Klimt Wasserschlangen II (Source: Wikipedia)

In this painting, Klimt portrays four mermaids where two are nude and pondering in sexual desire for each other.

Many viewers perceive the painting as Klimt’s narration on the lesbian sexual relationship, which was restricted during his times. That’s why he used the mermaids as fabled creatures to convey the meaning. So, the artwork is deep.

Moreover, Nazis stole this art piece of Klimt.

Later, Water Serpents II sold at an auction of a whopping $170 million in 2019.

8. Les Femmes d’ Alger Version “O”

Pablo Picasso’s 1955 artwork Les Femmes d’ Alger Version “O” is the eighth-most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Les-femmes-d’Alger-Picasso-Version-O (Source: Wikipedia)

Eugène Delacroix‘s painting The Women of Algiers in their Apartment inspired Picasso to create this painting which comprises colorful geometrical shapes and multiple angle views.

Moreover, the version “O” is the final piece from Picasso’s 15 collections of the entitled artwork.

Further, Christie’s sold the painting for a staggering $179.3 million in May 2015.

7. Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

Rembrandt’s 1634 painting Pendant of Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit is the seventh most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Pendant Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (Source: Wikipedia)

Moreover, the painting comprises the full-size portrait of the marriage ceremony of the couples Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit.

In addition, the Rothschild family was the first owner of this treasured painting and hid it from the public’s eye. But, later, the family decided to sell it.

Further, the Louvre Museum of Paris and the Rijksmuseum of Amsterdam jointly bought the painting for a whopping $180 million. Since then, these museums have alternately displayed this historical painting.

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6. No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red)

Mark Rothko’s abstract expressionism artwork No.6 (Violet, Green, and Red) is the sixth most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) (Source: Wikipedia)

This 1951 painting comprises irregularly and hazily shaded violet, green, and red colors alternately in large areas.

Further, a Russian entrepreneur Dmitry Rybolovlev bought the painting for a whopping $186 million in 2014.

5. Number 17 A

On the fifth most expensive paintings in the world is Jack Pollock’s Number 17 A.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Number 17A (Source: Wikipedia)

This abstract expressionism art is unique with Pollock’s horizontal drip oil painting on a fiberboard.

In 2015, an American investor Kenneth C. Griffin purchased this significant painting for a whopping $200 million.

4.  Nafea Faoo Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?)

A French post-impressionist artist Paul Gaugin’s When Will You Marry?, is the fourth most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Nafea Faa Ipoipo (Source: Wikipedia)

This 1892 painting portrays two women laying on the ground. The first woman is wearing a Tahitian dress and sitting in a Chinese style.

Behind her left ear, we can see a white tiare flower which depicts that she is looking for a husband. Whereas the next woman is sitting in a Buddhist position with an erect neck and western-style dress.

The princess of Doha, Sheikha Al-Mayassa, purchased this cultural oil painting in a private auction at a whopping $210 million in February 2015.

3. The Card Players

The French Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players is the third most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
The Card Players (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This abstract cubist oil painting portrays two men playing cards. Cézanne created five series of paintings depicting card players who varied in number, size, and places where they were playing in the late 1890s.

Moreover, this painting version of two card players on a wooden table amassed a whopping $250 million in 2011.

The Royal family of Qatar bought this showpiece of Cézanne.

2. Interchange

Willem de Kooning’s 1995 renowned artwork Interchange is the second most expensive paintings in the world.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Interchanged Willem de Kooning (Source: Wikipedia)

The expressionism artist portrays the abstract figure of a seated woman symbolizing it with a pink fleshy mass.

Whereas the rest figures are multi pastel-colored.

In September 2015, Kenneth C. Griffin purchased the art piece for a whopping $300 million.

 Art Institute of Chicago displays de Kooning’s acclaimed painting “Interchange/Interchanged.”

1. Salvator Mundi

The High Renaissance Italian painter Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi broke the record as the world’s most expensive paintings ever sold.

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Salvator Mundi Da Vinci (Source: Wikipedia)

In addition, this oil painting portrays Jesus Christ wearing the blue Renaissance dress by holding a crystal orb of the heavens in his left hand.

Whereas Christ makes the symbol of the cross in his right hand. Thus, this painting symbolizes Christ as the “Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World.)

Moreover, Prince Badr bin Abdullah purchased this masterpiece for a whopping $450.3 million in 2017. And, it was Da Vinci’s only painting to be in private hands.

In June 2019, the painting was discovered in Saudi Arab crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s yacht.

Currently, the painting’s real location is unknown. But, it is assumed to be stored in Switzerland.

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