Value Of Colour, Brush And Canvas: 15 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold
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Value Of Colour, Brush And Canvas: 15 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

Nu Couché

Paintings are beautiful piece of arts. Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul Cézanne and there are many names who created some masterpieces. The paintings would find in museums and private collections. These paintings are priceless. Some of the artworks are auctioned at a price that most will never able to afford.

Take a look at some of the most expensive paintings till date.

Interchange by Willen de Kooning – $300 million

Interchange

Also known as Interchanged, was painted by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning in 1955. A business magnet David Geffen Foundation sold it to Kenneth C. Griffin, a billionaire hedge fund investor in 2015 for $300 million. Mr. Griffin who is the member of board of trustees of the Art Institute of Chicago has loaned Interchange to the museum so that everyone can see it.

Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry) by Paul Gauguin – $300 million

Nafea Faa Ipoipo

This 1892 painting of two Tahitian girls broke all the previous records and it is the most expensive paintings. Qatar royal family bought this canvas from a Swiss collector for $300 million in February.

Gauguin painted this during his first trip to Tahiti, where he said he travelled to escape “everything that is artificial and conventional” in Europe. He fell in love with the country and its women. The painting is depicting two Tahitian girls sitting in a beautiful colourful landscape of green, gold and blue.

The Card Players by Paul Cézanne – $274 million

the card players

It is a series of oil paintings by the French post-impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. The series were painted in the early 1890s. The majority of the paintings are kept in museum collections such as Musée D’Orsay in Paris and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

In 2011, this particular picture was owned by the Qatar royal family at a price of over $274 million. This painting portraying two card players immersed in their pipes and playing cards. Cézanne selected the models from his family’s estate outside Aix-en-Provence; the gardener and a farm hand.

Number 17A by Jackson Pollock – $200 million

Number 17A

Pollock painted it in 1948, this painting featuring bold colours such as red, yellow, orange, blue along with white and black splashed about. In 2015, David Geffen Foundation sold this painting to Kenneth C. Griffin for $200 million.

No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) by Mark Rothko – $186 million

No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)

This abstract piece of art was painted in 1951 by Russian-American abstract expressionist artist Mark Rothko. In common with Rothko’s other works from this period, No. 6 consists of large expanses of colour defined by uneven, hazy shades.

Art dealer Yves Bouvier sold this to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. He is now in a legal dispute with Bouvier claiming he was misled about the price of this painting.

Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt – $180 million

Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit

This is a pair of wedding portraits by Rembrandt in 1634. As they were a couple it was only fair they should always be displayed together. When the Rothschild family wanted to sell these, Louvre Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam jointly bought the pair in 2015 and will take turns showcasing these paintings.

Les Femmes d’Alger (Version “O”) by Pablo Picasso – $179.4 million

Les Femmes d’Alger

Inspired by Eugène Delacroix’s 1834 painting “The Women of Algiers in their Apartment”, Spanish cubist artist Pablo Picasso painted a series of 15 variations of Les Femmes d’Alger. Version O is the last painting of the series, painted in 1955.

The painting was sold for $179.4 million in 2015. The former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani bought this painting.

Nu Couché (Reclining Nude) by Amedeo Modigliani – $170.4 million

Nu Couché

It is a 1917 oil-on-canvas painting by the Italian artist. This is one of Modigliani’s most recognised pieces of art. A billionaire Lui Yiqian, a former taxi driver who founded two private museums in Shanghai bought this in 2015 for $170.4 million.

La Rêve (The Dream) by Pablo Picasso – $155 million

La Rêve (The Dream)

This is one of Picasso’s most famous paintings, painted in 1932. He was depicting his 22-year-old lover Marie-Therese Walter, sitting on a red armchair with her eyes closed. It belongs to Picasso’s period of distorted depictions, with its oversimplified outlines and contrasted colours.

In 2013, Steven A Cohen had bought this painting from the casino magnet Steve Wynn for $155 million.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon – $142.4 million

Three Studies of Lucian Freud

This 1969 oil-on-canvas triptych is depicting artist Lucian Freud. Bacon and Freud were friends but artistic rivals. They first painted each other for several times.

The painting was sold in 2013 for $142.4 million which at the time was the highest price attained at auction for a work of art.

No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock – $140 million

No. 5, 1948

American painter Jackson Pollock painted this in 1948. It is a classic Pollock drip painting with organic lines with droplets of yellow, red and grey paint in various shades. He was known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. David Geffen sold it to David Martinez, managing partner of Fintech Advisory. But later, Martinez issued a statement that he did not actually purchase this painting. It can only be rumoured to have sold for a record-breaking $140 million.

Woman III by Willem de Kooning – $137.5 million

Woman III

Woman III is one of a series of six paintings by abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning between 1951 and 1953 and the central theme was a woman. This painting was part of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection. But after the 1979 revolution, this painting could not be shown because of the strict rules of the government.

In 2006, David Geffen sold this painting to billionaire Steven A Cohen for $137.5 million.

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt – $135 million

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Gustav Kimit created this masterpiece in 1907. The first of two portraits Klimt painted of Bloch-Bauer, it has been referred to as the final and most fully representative work of his golden phase. Adele Block-Bauer was a wealthy member of Viennese society and a close friend of Gustav Kimit.

The original title of the painting was Adele Bloch-Bauer but Nazi soldiers seized the painting from the Bauch-Bauer home in the early 1940s. They removed the original name and called it The Woman in Gold so that it could be displayed without referencing a Jewish family.

The cosmetic magnets Ronald Lauder bought the bought the portrait in 2006 for the Neue Galerie.

Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) by Leonardo da Vinci – $127.5 million

salvator mundi

It is a painting of Christ as Salvator Mundi. Leonardo da Vinci painted the subject in France between 1506 and 1513. It was lost and later rediscovered and restored and exhibited in 2011. The painting is portraying Christ in Renaissance garb giving a benediction with his raised hand and crossed fingers while holding a crystal sphere in his left hand.

In 2013, the Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier sold this to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.

The Scream by Edvard Munch – $119.9 million

the scream

This is the most colourful of the four versions of Norwegian Expressionist Edvard Munch’s masterpiece “The Scream”, created between 1893 and 1910. Munch gave a German title of these works Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature). The paintings show a figure with an agonized expression against a landscape with a tumultuous orange sky.

The fourth version was sold for $119.9 million in 2012 to financier Leon Black. The painting was on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York from October 2012 to April 2013.

Suchismita Biswas
Suchismita Biswas
Pen is mightier than swords - these words make me passionate about writing. Except writing I love to travel , love to explore the unknown places, love photography and love listening to music. Also I am an avid reader of books. I'm a simple girl but I am what I am.

2 thoughts on “Value Of Colour, Brush And Canvas: 15 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

  1. Remarks on Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt :-

    “Woman in Gold” – by Gustave Klimt is a famous painting and “Woman in Gold” – starring Helen Mirren is a very interesting film.

    The film “Woman in Gold” revolves around Gustave Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”, which along with other valuables of the family, was plundered by the Nazis during their occupation in Vienna. Sixty years after fleeing Vienna, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman settled in the States, had to fight a fierce legal battle in the Courts of USA and Austria with the help of her young legal aid, contesting her claim to the painting.

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