The Most Expensive Pictures of the World

The Card Players

The Card Players is a series of oil paintings by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. Painted during Cézanne’s final period in the early 1890s, there are five paintings in the series. In 2012, one version of The Card Players was reportedly sold for £160 million (over $250 million), making it the most expensive piece of artwork ever sold.

No. 5, 1948

No. 5, 1948 is a painting by Jackson Pollock, an American painter known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. According to a report in The New York Times on November 2, 2006, the painting was sold by David Geffen, founder of Geffen Records and co-founder of Dreamworks SKG, to David Martinez, managing partner of Fintech Advisory Ltd, in a private sale for a record inflation-adjusted price of $140 million.

Woman III

Woman III is a painting by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. Woman III is one of a series of six paintings by de Kooning done between 1951 and 1953 in which the central theme was a woman. In November 2006, the painting was sold by Geffen to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $137.5 million, making it the third most expensive painting ever sold.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt. According to press reports it was sold for US$135 million to Ronald Lauder for his Neue Galerie in New York City in June 2006.

Portrait of Dr. Gachet

Portrait of Dr. Gachet is one of the most revered paintings by the Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. It depicts Dr. Paul Gachet, who took care of van Gogh during the final months of his life. In 1990, it fetched a then-record price of $82.5 million ($75 million, plus a 10 percent buyer’s commission) when sold at auction in New York.

Bal du moulin de la Galette

Bal du moulin de la Galette (commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette) is an 1876 painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. From 1879 to 1894 the painting was in the collection of the French painter Gustave Caillebotte; when he died it became the property of the French Republic as payment for death duties. From 1896 to 1929 the painting hung in the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris. From 1929 it hung in the Musée du Louvre until it was transferred to the Musée d’Orsay in 1986. On May 17, 1990, the painting was sold for US$78 million at Sotheby’s in New York City to Ryoei Saito (Saitō Ryōei), the honorary chairman of Daishowa Paper Manufacturing Company, Japan.

Garçon à la pipe

Garçon à la Pipe (Boy with a Pipe) is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was painted in 1905 when Picasso was 24 years old, during his Rose Period, soon after he settled in the Montmartre section of Paris, France. The oil on canvas painting depicts a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand and wearing a garland or wreath of flowers. The painting was first bought by John Hay Whitney in 1950 for US$30,000. On May 5, 2004 the painting was sold for US $104,168,000 at Sotheby’s auction in New York City.

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (French: Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur) is a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso, featuring his mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. The painting was in the personal collection of Los Angeles art collectors Sidney and Frances Brody for nearly six decades. It was sold at auction for US $106.5 million, a world record price. It is currently on show at Tate Modern in London, alongside other Picasso paintings from the gallery’s own collection.

Portrait of Joseph Roulin

Sold for US $107+ million on 1989
Buyer: Museum of Modern Art New York

Dora Maar au Chat

Dora Maar au Chat (Dora Maar with Cat) is a 1941 painting by Pablo Picasso. It depicts Dora Maar, the painter’s lover, seated on a chair with a small cat perched on her shoulders. This work is one of the world’s most expensive paintings. It came up for sale in an auction of Impressionist/Modern works held at Sotheby’s on May 3, 2006 in New York. An anonymous Russian bidder present at the New York auction won the work with a final bid of US $95,216,000.

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