List of very expensive paintings

Posted in Art and Culture

This is a list of the highest prices paid for paintings. Very valuable paintings, if sold, are usually sold at auctions.

The world's most famous paintings, especially works done before 1800, are generally owned by museums, which very rarely sell them; this is why the vast majority of the works in this list were painted after that date. As such, they are quite literally priceless; if a painting like the Mona Lisa (along with many others by the old masters) were to become available, it would almost certainly sell for much more than any of the paintings listed below.

Guinness World Records lists the Mona Lisa as having the highest insurance value for a painting in history. It was assessed at US$100 million on December 14, 1962, before the painting toured the U.S. for several months. However, the Louvre chose to spend the money on security rather than insurance. Taking inflation into account, the 1962 value would be approximately US$670 million in 2006.  

This list is ordered by consumer price index inflation-adjusted value (in bold) in millions of 2007 United States dollars. Where necessary, the price is first converted to dollars using the exchange rate at the time the painting was sold. The inflation adjustment may change as recent inflation rates are often revised. A list in another currency would probably be in a slightly different order due to exchange rate fluctuations. Paintings are only listed once, i.e. for the highest price sold.  

Adjusted price

Original price
Painting Artist Year sale Seller Buyer Auction
$142.7 $140 No. 5, 1948 Jackson Pollock 1948 2006 David Geffen David Martinez private sale
$140.2 $137.5 Woman III Willem de Kooning 1953 2006 David Geffen Steven A. Cohen private sale via Larry Gagosian
$137.6 $135 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I Gustav Klimt 1907 2006 Maria Altmann Ronald Lauder, Neue Galerie private sale
$129.7 $82.5 Portrait of Dr. Gachet Vincent van Gogh 1890 1990 Siegfried Kramarsky family Ryoei Saito Christie's, New York
$122.8 $78.1 Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1876 1990 Betsey Whitney Ryoei Saito Sotheby's, New York
$113.4 $104.2 Gar?on ? la pipe Pablo Picasso 1905 2004 Greentree foundation (Whitney family)   Sotheby's, New York
$97.5 $53.9 Irises Vincent van Gogh 1889 1987 son of Joan Whitney Payson Alan Bond Sotheby's, New York
$97.0 $95.2 Dora Maar au Chat Pablo Picasso 1941 2006 Gidwitz family   Sotheby's, New York
$90.1 $71.5 Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe Vincent van Gogh 1889 1998 heirs of Jacques Koerfer   Christie's, New York
$89.1 $87.9 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II Gustav Klimt 1912 2006 Maria Altmann   Christie's, New York
$87.6 $76.7 (?49.5) Massacre of the Innocents Peter Paul Rubens 1611 2002 an Austrian family Kenneth Thomson Sotheby's, London
$81.7 $49.2 (F300) Les Noces de Pierrette Pablo Picasso 1905 1989 Fredrik Roos Tomonori Tsurumaki Binoche et Godeau Paris
$81.5 $80.0 False Start Jasper Johns 1959 2006 David Geffen Kenneth C. Griffin private sale via Richard Gray
$81.1 $57 A Wheatfield with Cypresses Vincent van Gogh 1889 1993 son of Emil Georg Buhrle Walter H. Annenberg private sale via Steven Mazoh
$79.3 $47.85 Yo, Picasso Pablo Picasso 1901 1989 Wendell Cherry Stavros Niarchos Sotheby's, New York
$74.6 $60.5 Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier Paul C?zanne 1894 1999 Whitney Family   Sotheby's, New York
$72.8 $72.8 White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) Mark Rothko 1950 2007 David Rockefeller, Sr.   Sotheby's, New York
$71.8 $39.7 (?24.75) Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers Vincent van Gogh 1888 1987 daughter-in-law of Chester Beatty Yasuo Goto, Yasuda Comp. Christie's, London
$71.7 $71.7 Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) Andy Warhol 1963 2007 David Rockefeller, Sr.   Christie's, New York
$67.5 $40.7 Au Lapin Agile Pablo Picasso 1904 1989 daughter of Joan Whitney Payson Walter H. Annenberg Sotheby's, New York
$66.9 $38.5 (?20.9) Acrobate et jeune Arlequin Pablo Picasso 1905 1988 heir of Roger Janssen Mitsukoshi Christie's, London
$65.6 $55.0 Femme aux Bras Crois?s Pablo Picasso 1902 2000 McCormick family, Chicago   Christie's, New York
$64.7 $63.5 Police Gazette Willem de Kooning 1955 2006 David Geffen Steven A. Cohen private sale, Richard Gray Gallery
$62.0 $48.4 Le R?ve Pablo Picasso 1932 1997 Ganz family Wolfgang Fl?ttl Christie's, New York.
$61.2 $49.6 Femme assise dans un jardin Pablo Picasso 1938 1999 Robert Saidenberg   Sotheby's, New York
$60.8 $47.5 Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat Vincent van Gogh 1890 1997   Stephen Wynn private sale via Acquavella Galleries Inc., New York
$58.4 $35.2 Portrait of Duke Cosimo I de'Medici Pontormo 1537 1989 Frick Collection Getty Museum Christie's, New York

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