This list includes the painters whose works you probably will never be able to afford!
Nu couché, a stunning portrait of a woman reclined on a bed, sold for $170.4 in 2015. Amedeo Modigliani is known for his paintings of women with elongated features. Like many other painters, he was not recognized for his work during his lifetime, but became extremely popular and renowned after his death in 1920.
The person who spent a whole lifetime learning how to paint like a child. Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Alger sold for $179m in 2015 to a private collection. While many of Picasso’s more famous paintings (looking at you, Guernica) are truly priceless, this is the most expensive Picasso’s painting, and the 9th most expensive painting to ever have been sold.
Like Jackson Pollock (who appears further in this list), Mark Rothko’s work is considered by many to be simple. However the way he worked with colors and created immersive abstract impressionist paintings is unparalleled. His painting, No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) sold for $186 million in 2014.
Gustav Klimt was an Austrian symbolist painter renowned for his paintings of the female body. His painting, Wasserschlangen II, sold to Dmitry Rybolovlev (Russian businessman and investor) in 2013 for 183.8 million US dollars.
Many people give Jackson Pollock a lot of undeserved hate for doing something that “they could definitely do”. Bu let me tell you something – you probably couldn’t do what he did. In a test conducted in the mid 2010s scientists were able to prove that most people could easily tell a true Jackson Pollock painting form a computer-generated painting in his signature style. So, say what you will about the splashes of paint on the canvas, but the “Jackson Pollock vibe” can be sold for up to $200 million.
In 2014 somebody payed a handsome $210 million for Gauguin’s oil painting from 1892 (When Will You Marry?) which depicts a mother asking her daughter the ever-annoying question of (you guessed it), “When Will You Marry?” Now it hangs and taunts any daughter that passes by with the eternal question. Hope Paul is happy.
Painted in 1893 by Paul Cézanne, The Card Players sold to the State of Qatar in 2011 for a whooping 250 million dollars in a private sale. The painting has inspired many famous photographs and movie scenes. Five versions of this paintings exist in the world, all in varying sizes. The masterpiece we’re talking about is considered to be his defining piece, preceding the work of his final years which is thought by many to be more acclaimed. However, it’s always more interesting to see where an artist established themselves.
Willem de Kooning
Willem de Kooning’s painting, Interchange, was sold for nearly $300 million in 2015 in a private sale. The abstract-expressionist painting was completed in 1955 and is considered to be an abstract landscape painting.
Leonardo da Vinci
You can’t put a price on some of da Vinci’s most famous works. The Mona Lisa is never going on sale. The Last Supper is never going on sale. As a matter of fact, the last time one of da Vinci’s paintings went on sale was in 2017, and his painting sold for nearly half a billion dollars ($450 million, to be exact). If you think that’s crazy then consider this — to this day nobody is 100% certain that the painting was actually made by Leonardo himself. Multiple appraisal institutes have investigated the origins of the painting, and nobody was able to come up with a conclusive result. So, if a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci sold for half a billion, imagine the price for a painting that is definitely his!