11+ Most Expensive Paintings Around the World (2024)

Most Expensive Paintings - World's 25 Costliest Paintings!

If you are an art enthusiast or someone who gets mesmerized by the greatest creations of art, then let me tell you you’re in the right place.

Everyone has their own favorite painting, art gallery, or even art period that they read about more often. 

In short, people who are obsessed with art.

A question that must’ve struck your mind is, ‘Why is every famous artwork so damn expensive?’ Or,

What makes art so costly?

The answer is simple—it’s one of a kind!

So, to answer this, I have researched and compiled a list of the most expensive paintings from around the globe.

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Hereby, let me walk you through 15 of the world’s most expensive paintings

I am pretty sure that, till the end of this blog, you will be mesmerized to know about these paintings and will be ready to consider buying one of em’.

Salvator Mundi

Salvator Mundi painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci
Created In1500
Price Paid for Art$475 million
Current Worth (2023)$537.6 million
Currently HousedThe Louvre, Abu Dhabi

There are many renowned paintings by Leonardo da Vinci.

But Salvator Mundi is known to be Da Vinci’s most expensive painting.  

It is believed to be the last work by Da Vinci and depicts Christ in Renaissance style.

A remarkable fact about this painting is that it was bid within 19 minutes during the auction and was purchased at the highest price during that period.

One of the interesting facts about Salvator Mundi is that there was a lot of doubt about whether it was painted by Da Vinci or not! 

But, whatever the claims are, it still ranks first on the list of the most expensive paintings.

Interchange

Interchange painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistWillem de Kooning
Created In1955
Price Paid for Art$300 million
Current Worth (2023)$370 million
Currently HousedNorton Museum of Art, Florida

An artist, who was known for depicting women in his artwork, experienced fame as soon as he stepped in abstract art.  

The artist was none other than Willem de Kooning.

Considered  America’s first modern art, Interchange depicts a reclining woman in abstract art, which later became the reason behind its success.

The Card Players

The Card Players painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistPaul Cezanne
Created In1892
Price Paid for Art$250 million
Current Worth (2023)$325 million
Currently HousedThe Musee d’Orsay, Paris (5th Version)

The Card Players that depict the lives of local peasants have its five versions.

This masterpiece is a series where the only difference is in the number of men shown in each painting.

This can be concluded from the fact that each and every figure in the painting shows human-like qualities and the texture of the skin can also be seen.

And you know what? 

It is believed that Paul was inspired by his housekeepers to curate this piece of art!

Number 17A

Number 17A painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistJackson Pollock
Created In1948
Price Paid for Art$200 million
Current Worth (2023)$247 million
Currently HousedGriffen’s private homes

Paintings by Jackson Pollock are nothing but masterpieces!

One of his creations, Number 17A, has a whole different story to share.

Now, you might be wondering what makes Number 17A among the most expensive paintings. 

Well, to be precise, this painting was a breakthrough for Pollock after it was featured in the August 1949 edition of Life magazine.

The use of the dripping technique of oil paint on the fiberboard became mainstream and even though it was experimental, it still gained a lot of attention.

Water Serpents II

Water Serpents II painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistGustav Klimt
Created In1904-1907
Price Paid for Art$183.8 million
Current Worth (2023)$230.9 million
Currently HousedThe Belvedere Museum

One of the leading prodigies on this list of the most expensive paintings is definitely Gustav Klimt.

Gustav Klimt paintings  were something that were sold at hefty prices, even though they were controversial.

So, why is Water Serpents II among the most expensive paintings?

As for the record, Klimt’s sensual depiction of females and relationships between the same people makes it erotic.

Not only this, the art was seized by Nazi forces during World War II.

Hence, the subject shown in it made it one of  the most controversial artworks ever made. 

Mona Lisa

ArtistLeonardo DaVinci
Created In1503
Price Paid for Art$970 million
Current Worth (2023)$1 billion as in 2023
Currently HousedLouvre Museum (since 1797)

One of the top players on this list is definitely this mysterious masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci.

Mona Lisa, a painting that has impacted the art world.

An interesting fact about this artwork is that it has the highest known painting insurance valuation in history, close to almost $1 billion.

As per the latest updates about this painting, the Mona Lisa has been vandalized by a group of protestors. 

Also, a mystery that remains unresolved is that the Mona Lisa in this painting is smiling or being sad.

No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red)

No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistMark Rothko
Created In1951
Price Paid for Art$186 million
Current Worth (2023)$230 million
Currently HousedThe Belvedere Museum

Some paintings create history with the perspective that is presented in front of the viewers.

Mark Rothko created a new meaning in this world of art with his No. 6.

The use of colors in the painting represents the artist’s late life, which makes it one-of-a-kind.

Not only this, but with the phenomenal brushwork, this painting made its way to the list of the top seven art pieces to be sold in art history.

No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) was purchased by a Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev.

Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistRembrandt van Rijn
Created In1634
Price Paid for Art$197 million
Current Worth (2023)$222 million
Currently HousedThe Louvre Museum

Do you know who Rembrandt was?

A Baroque genius who produced art through the most difficult and dark phases of his life, with portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit among them!

Both of these art pieces were created to commemorate the couple’s wedding and these panels were always displayed in pairs making them unique.

When the painting went on sale, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Louvre Museum jointly decided to purchase this masterpiece.

Here’s a video for a better understanding of this artwork by Rembrandt:

Video Credit: Rijksmuseum

The Standard Bearer

The Standard Bearer painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistRembrandt vin Rijin
Created In1636
Price Paid for Art$198 million
Current Worth (2023)$213.8 million
Currently HousedThe Gallery of Honor, Rijksmuseum

There are 80 self-portraits that can be counted among the paintings by Rembrandt, The Standard Bearer is one of them.

The work was said to be his last major work to enter a public museum from private collections.

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This self-portrait was sold among the top 10 most costly paintings at auction.

The painting was completed during Rembrandt’s relocation from Leiden to Amsterdam, which makes it an important early work.

Today, this masterpiece is recognized as a national treasure in France and was on tour in 2023 in various museums.

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn 

Shot Sage Blue Marilyn painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistAndy Warhol
Created In1964
Price Paid for Art$195 million
Current Worth (2023)$195 million
Currently HousedThe Metropolitan Museum of Art

Andy Warhol produced a series of silkscreen paintings and named them Marilyn after the classical beauty of the Hollywood actress.

It sounds like someone was obsessed! 

But that’s not the point, the point is that it landed among the list of the most expensive paintings of all time.

Now the question that arises is, “Why is Shot Sage Blue Marilyn among the most expensive paintings?”

Some of the reasons are that this painting was known as the Mona Lisa of the 21st century.

This painting was reproduced multiple times and finally, American art dealer Larry Gagosian purchased it.

A fact about this painting is that the use of bold colors and aesthetic pop imagery made it popular among pop artists as well.

No. 5

No. 5 painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistJackson Pollock
Created In1948
Price Paid for Art$140 million
Current Worth (2023)$203.2 million
Currently HousedPrivate Collection, New York

Jackson Pollock was known for his astonishing paintings with deep meaning, and No. 5 is one of them.

But, why is No. 5 among the most expensive paintings?

Pollock created this painting with liquid colors, which makes it unique.

Later, when examined closely, the painting reveals that it was made of white, brown, yellow, and gray paint, which was associated with “dense bird’s nest.”

An interesting fact: Pollock always used numbers as the title of his paintings. Do you know why? He has a belief that numbers are unbiased and objective!

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistGustav Klimt
Created In1907
Price Paid for Art$135 million
Current Worth (2023)$196 million
Currently HousedNeue Galerie New York, Private collection

One of the Jewish financiers, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer commissioned this artwork for his beloved wife and ordered Klimt to bejewel it!

The painting was a historical witness to Jewish patronage during the golden era.

This artwork is the final work of Gustav Klimt’s Golden Period, which makes it rare.

The gold work all over the art contributes to the fact that it was one of the most expensive pieces of art ever sold.

You can read about the painting through Adele Bloch-Bauer I which will reveal the lady portrayed in gold.

Bal Du Moulin De La Galette

Bal Du Moulin De La Galette painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Created In1876
Price Paid for Art$154 million
Current Worth (2023)$174.9 million
Currently HousedThe Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Bal Du Moulin De La Galette (Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette) is an impressionist artwork.

It became the classic Impressionist work that depicts everyday life.

The working-class in the late 19th century would dress up and spend the entire evening dancing, drinking, and eating, which was common during that period.

Although it is uncertain, the artwork was thought to be in the ownership of a Swiss collector.

Garçon à la Pipe

Garçon à la Pipe painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistPablo Picasso
Created In1905
Price Paid for Art$104.2 million
Current Worth (2023)$161.4 million
Currently HousedMontmartre, Paris

When a person glances at this artwork, they will surely have a question about whether it is the real work of Picasso or not.

Well, Garçon à la Pipe is real and is also known as the most valuable painting ever sold.

The painting shows the early exploration of Cubist principles.

What makes Garçon à la Pipe one of the most expensive paintings?

The art shows a boy named “P’tit Louis” who died at a young age, which made the art popular among the audience.

The Scream

The Scream painting is one of the most expensive paintings in the world.
Image: wikipedia
ArtistEdvard Munch
Created In1895
Price Paid for Art$119.9 million
Current Worth (2023)$152.9 million
Currently HousedThe National Museum in Oslo

The Scream has a separate fan base when it comes to the famous scary paintings around the world.

Why is The Scream among the most expensive paintings?

The anguished faces of humans in the painting make it famous among people.

It is believed that the painting has four versions, of which the last is the most valuable due to its frame, which features a poem hand-written by Munch himself.

An interesting fact: Leon Black, who bought the painting, bid via phone, which lasted over 12 minutes.

Also, shockingly, in 1910, the art was stolen during daylight hours when masked gunmen broke into the Munch Museum. 

The museum was hence closed for 10 months.

Here is a video that will definitely intrigue you to learn more about The Scream.

Video Credit: PortraitFlip

Epilogue

Here comes the end of this journey through the plethora of the world’s most expensive paintings.

One might naturally ask themselves: What qualifies these pieces of art as the priciest paintings ever created?

The reasons, thoughts, subjects, and patterns that were never introduced or looked at in any way make them controversial.

Gaining fame gradually becomes priceless for the people.

When you came across such paintings, you surely wished to own such masterpieces, right?

Well, now you can. 

PortraitFlip introduces you to reproduction paintings that are as authentic as the originals.

Do not trust what I said? Witness it with your own eyes!

Hi From Writer

How did you find the blog about the most expensive paintings in the world?

I have tried to gather all the information in one place, making your task easier to learn about costly painting in the world.

If you have any additional material to share, please write in the comment sections, where I can read your valuable feedback.

I’ll be back with another writing super soon.

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Till then, keep exploring!

FAQs

What is the most expensive painting in the world?

The most expensive piece of art in the world is Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci, bought in 2017 for $450.3 Million

What is the most valuable painting?

The most valuable painting is said to be the Mona Lisa; it has the highest ever insurance value for a painting. On permanent display at the Louvre in Paris, the Mona Lisa was assessed at US$100 million on December 14, 1962.

Which is Jackson Pollock’s most expensive painting, and what is its price?

Jackson Pollock’s painting Number 17A is worth $200 Million, which also happens to be among his most expensive paintings.

What are the two expensive paintings by Gustav Klimt?

Gustav Klimt’s two famous paintings are Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I & II. 

What is the estimated cost of the Mona Lisa?

Being one of the most expensive paintings and a timeless creation, the painting of the Mona Lisa is estimated to be worth $860 million.

Why are paintings so costly?

Art in general is expensive and the craftsmanship and time taken to create it make it expensive. High quality materials and, in some cases, rare materials are used in an artwork, which ultimately leads to the artwork summing up to a hefty amount.

What is the process of art valuation?

A thorough understanding of the cultural significance of art as well as the commercial and economic factors that influence the art market are necessary for art valuation.

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