Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold


Most Expensive Paintings Painting is the creative expression of human imagination by using paint, brushes, palette knives and other tools and it is one of the oldest forms of human art. When we make a list of 10 most expensive paintings in the world, we do not only consider the sale of paintings at auction instead we should consider the private sale of paintings. Many websites displaying the different list of 10 most expensive paintings in the world most of them are incorrect because they ignore the private sale of paintings and only ponder over the paintings sold at auction. Here is a list of top 10 most expensive paintings in the world which is sold at auction and private sale. This list has been updated two years before.

Related: Top 10 most Famous Painting in the History

10. The Scream


The ScreamArtist: Edward Munch
Year Sold: May 2012
Location: Sotheby’s, New York
Price: $119 million
Buyer: Leon Black

The scream is the fourth version of a compilation created by artist Edward Munch between 1893-1910. This version sold at Sotheby’s auction New York. The other 3 version was present in National Gallery Oslo, Norway, and Munch Museum. The German title given by Munch to his work was Deer Sheri deer Nature (The Scream of Nature). The painting was on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York form October 2012 to pair 2013.
This painting depicted the Munch imagination of one evening when he was waking with his friends and along the path, there is a deep inlet of the sea on one side. He stopped and looked over the sea and saw this scene of sun setting and beclouds turned into blood red and artist sensed a cry or scream at this moment. He painted this scene in which clouds are blood, and this color is the cause of cry or squall which is an expression of pain, terror or excitement.
This painting has been the target of several high-profile art thefts. In 1994, the version in the National Gallery was stolen. It was recovered several months later. In 2004, it was stolen from the Munch Museum, and both recovered two years later.

9. Adele Bloch Bauer I (WOMEN IN GOLD)


Adele Bloch- Bauer I (WOMEN IN GOLD)Artist: Gustav Klimt
Year Sold: July 2006
Location: Neue Galerie, New York
Price: $135 million
Buyer: Ronald Lauder

This portrait also called The Lady IN Gold painted by Gustav Kilt in 1907. Klimt almost took three years to complete this painting. Adele Bloch-Bauer was a close friend of Klimt. She was the only model who was painted twice by Klimt. She died in 1925.This is the master piece of Klimt work. It has been on display at the Neue Galerie since July 2006. A film is also making on the story of this painting background.



Artist: Willem De Kooning
Year Sold: 2006
Location: private collection of Steven A Cohen
Price: $137.5 million
Buyer: Steven Cohen

That is the only painting which is still in private hands. The Central theme of this picture was a woman. “Women III “are a serious of six paintings made between 1951 and 1953. This painting was part of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection, but this painting could not be displayed after the revolution in 1979 due to strict rules of government about the visual arts and what they depict. IN November 2006, the painting was sold by Geffen to a billionaire Steven A Cohen for $137.5 million making it the fourth most expensive painting ever sold.



NUMBER 5Artist: Willem Jackson Pollock
Year Sold: Private sale 2006
Location: Private collection, New York.
Price: $140 million

Jackson Pollock’s paintings are no strangers to high prices at auction, and his Number 5 is no different. In November of 2006, Number 5, painted in Pollock’s unique drip technique, was sold for $140 million dollars, the highest price ever paid at auction for painting, to an unknown buyer. This price exceeded both the high price paid for his Blue Poles, which sold in 1973, as well as Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which previously held the high price record. Using his entire body to paint in a method called “action painting,” Pollock dripped and splattered layer upon layer of paint to create his chaotic patterns.

6. Three Studies of Lucian Freud


Artist: Francis Bacon
Year Sold: 2013
Location: Christie’s, New York.
Price: $142.4 million

Three Studies of Lucian Freud was painted in 1969 by Irish painter Francis Bacon, and it depicts artist Ludan was sold in November 2013 for $ 142.4 million which was the highest price attained at auction for artwork when not factoring in inflation. However, this record was surpassed by Version O of Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger series.

5. La Reve (THE DREAM)


La ReveArtist: Pablo Picasso
Year Sold: 2013
Price: $155 million
Seller: Steve Wynn
Buyer: Steven A Cohen

This painting depicts the relationship between Pablo Picasso and her over Marie _Therese Walter. She is sitting on a red chair with closed eyes it is said that this is the only painting that paints in one day on 24 January 1932.

4. Nu Couche (Reclining Nude)


Nu Couche (Reclining Nude)Artist: Amedeo Modigliani
Year Sold: November 2015
Location: Christie’s New York.
Price: $170.4 milion
Buyer: Liu Yiqjan

This painting setting a world record for the artist and it achieving the second highest price ever garnered for a work of art at auction. This painting is made for Leopold Zborowski and painting nearly created a scandal when it was first exhibited in Paris. It depicts nude model reclining on a crimson couch and blue cushion.

3. Les Femmes Alger ( Women Of Algiers )


Les Femmes Alger ( Women Of Algiers )Artist: Pablo Picasso
Year Sold: May 2015
Price: $179.4 million
Location: Christie’s, New York

There are 15 paintings in this series but Version ‘O’ is the famous but not essential work of Pablo Picasso. It is the most expensive artwork that is ever sold at Auction. It would set a new world record. This painting was also sold privately by an unknown Saudi Arabian living in London.

2. The Card Players


The Card PlayersArtist: Paul Cezanne
Year Sold: 2011
Price: $250 million
Seller: George Embiricos
Buyer: Royal Family of Qatar

This painting is the last version of a composition by French artist Paul Cezanne. There are five paintings in the series which are different from each other by Number of players and size of the version. This painting depicts the psychological intensity on the faces of players which makes this a masterpiece. This painting was sold at private sale to this buyer.

1. Nafea FAA ipoipo (When Will You Marry)


Nafea FAA ipoipo (When Will You Marry)Artist: Paul Gauguin
Year Sold: 2015
Location: Foundation Bailer, Riehen, Switzerland
Price: $300 million
Seller: Rudolf satchel family trust
Buyer: Qatar Museums

It is an oil painting painted by French artist Paul Gauguin in 1892. It was sold privately and was close to $ 300 million in February 2015.It is the highest price that ever paid for the artwork. However, Paul’s work won little fame in his lifetime. This painting depicts a couple of Tahitian native women, one woman dressed in a traditional Tahitian dress while other showing serious expression on her face dressed in mission dress. The women that are wearing white flower shows her purity and desire to find a husband and other lady making a gesture that means Warning, that is the reason this painting theme create a relationship between innocence and knowledge. One woman reflects the experience of love while other women are unaware of the complexity of emotions that come with such thoughts.

List of Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold in World

Rank Painting Name Average Price
1. Nafea FAA ipoipo $300 million
2. The Card Players $250 million
3. Les Femmes Alger $179.4 million
4. Nu Couche $170.4 million
5. La Reve (THE DREAM) $155 million
6. Three Studies of Lucian Freud $142.4 million
7. NUMBER 5 $140 million
8. WOMAN III $137.5 million
9. Adele Bloch Bauer I $135 million
10. The scream $119 million