While some people value paintings according to beauty, skill, or uniqueness, there are others who value them according to their price. So what is the world’s most expensive painting? Well, it depends. Inflation and exchange rates undoubtedly affect the rankings, and in order for a painting to be properly valued…it has to be sold first! So, today we’ve compiled a list of the 25 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold!
Femme aux Bras Croisés
Painted during Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period, the subject of this painting is most likely an inmate at Saint-Lazare (a hospital-prison) in Paris. It sold for $55 million in 2000.
The Gross Clinic
This painting by Thomas Eakins depicts Dr. Samuel Gross performing one of the first “healing” surgeries before medical students at Jefferson Medical College. It sold for $68 million in 2007. Today it is on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Note: prior to the emergence of surgery as a “healing” profession, it was mostly just associated with amputation.
Diana and Actaeon
A painting by the Italian Renaissance master Titian, this is considered to be among his finest works. In 2009, the National Galleries of London and Scotland acquired the painting from the Bridgewater Collection for $70 million. It now alternates between the two galleries every 5 years.
An oil painting by Swiss-German artist Hans Holbein the Younger sold in 2011 for $75 million to German art collector Reinhold Würth.
One of the most notable works by impressionist painter Claude Monet, Haystacks sold at auction in 2016 for $81 million.
This famous painting by Vincent van Gogh sold for $40 million in 1987 to Japanese insurance magnate Yasuo Goto.
Au Lapin Agile
This 1905 self-portrait by Pablo Picasso sold at auction for $40.7 million in 1989.
Painted by Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch, the fourth version was sold at auction for $120 million to financier Leon Black in 2012.
This geometric abstraction by Russian painter Kazimir Malevich sold at auction in 2008 for $60 million. The buyer was anonymous.
Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier
This still life painting by French artist Paul Cézanne sold for $60 million in 1999. It is considered to be one of the most expensive still life paintings in the world.
Le Bassin Aux Nymphéas
One of a series of water lily paintings by French impressionist artist Claude Monet, this piece sold for $80 million in 2008.
Wheat Field with Cypresses
This Van Gogh painting was inspired by Vincent’s view from his insane asylum towards the Alpilles Mountains. It sold for $57 million in 1993.
Portrait of Dr. Gachet
One of Vincent van Gogh’s most revered paintings, it depicts Dr. Gachet, who took care of Vincent during the last months of his life. In 1990, it sold for $82.5 million at auction in New York.
Massacre of the Innocents
This painting by Peter Paul Rubens sold to Kenneth Thompson in 2002 for $76 million.
Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe
What may have been Vincent van Gogh’s last painting was given as a birthday gift to his mother. It was sold to an unknown buyer in 1998 for $71 million.
Garçon à la pipe
Pablo Picasso’s famous painting of a Parisian boy holding a pipe sold at a 2004 auction for $104 million.
Painted by Vincent van Gogh shortly before his death, Irises sold for $53 million to Alan Bond in 1987.
Meaning “Savior of the World” when translated to English, this painting by Leonardo da Vinci sold to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127 million in 2013.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I
Also called the Lady in Gold, this painting by Gustav Klimt sold in 2006 for $135 million.
Portrait of a Halberdier
This 15th century oil painting was sold to Getty Museum in 1989 for $35 million.
The Card Players
Painted by French post-impressionist artist Paul Cézanne, one of the five images in this series sold to the Royal Family of Qatar in 2011 for $300 million.
Bal du moulin de la Galette
Commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette, this famous painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir depicts a lively 19th century afternoon in downtown Paris. It was sold in 1990 for $78 million.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II
This is the second painting of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt (the first was the Lady in Gold). Although the first portrait is more famous, Oprah Winfrey sold this painting to an unidentified Chinese buyer for $150 million in 2016.
Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit
This pair of full length wedding portraits by Rembrandt was originally owned by the Rothschild family but were sold to the Louvre Museum and the Rijksmuseum for a price of $180 million.
When Will You Marry?
This oil painting by French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin was sold to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani in 2015 for roughly $300 million.
All photos from wikimedia commons, public domain.