Salvator Mundi, a painting by Leonardo Da Vinci just became the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. Here is a list of the top 5 most expensive paintings and their price (november 2017).
#5 “Number 17A” Jackson Pollock ($202 million)
Drip painter Jackson Pollock has multiple paintings that sold for big numbers. His action painting (dripping oil on canvas) made him famous during his short lieftime. He died at age 44 in a alcohol related car crash. But his fame continued after his death and cumulated in “Number 17A”, which was sold by David Geffen Foundation to Kenneth C. Griffin for just over $200 million in 2015.
#4 “Nafea faa ipoipo” Paul Gaugin ($212 million)
French post-impressionist painter Paul Gaugin made this painting during his stay in Tahiti. Apparently the title of the work “When will you marry?” refers to the woman in front wearing a flower in her hair near her left ear, an indication of her seeking a husband. It was sold privately by the family of Rudolf Staechelin to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, in February 2015 US $212 million.
#3 “The Card Players” Paul Cézanne (close to $290 million)
Post-impressionists from France have a hefty price tag. Paul Cézanne’s “The card players”, one of five painting depicting people playing cards, was sold in 2011 to the Royal Family of Qatar for a price between $250 million and $300 million. Beware the price is only for one painting, not the whole series.
#2 “Interchange” Willem de Kooning ($300 million)
Second modernist work on the list was also sold by the David Geffen Foundation to Kenneth C. Griffin . This time in September 2015 Kenneth C. Griffin bought the painting for around $300 million. Like Number 17A by Pollock it is an abstract expressionist work and now it is the most expensive post-war painting ever.
#1 “Salvator mundi” Leonardo da Vinci ($450.3 million)
Last Wednesday Christie’s New York was able to auction off the painting Salvator Mundi for a record breaking number of $450.3 million. It was the only painting by the Italian genius that was still part of a private collection. Namely, the collection of Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian businessman, who bought the painting for $127.5 milion in 2013. In 1958 the work was sold for a mere $59 because it was presumed to be a copy and not made by da Vinci himself. Da Vinci’s masterpiece is now the most expensive painting in the world.
This list contains painting that were sold, some at auction, some privately. These paintings don’t have the highest value. Considering the insurance value of a painting, that would be Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” (800 million in 2016). Museums don’t sell their masterpieces so, the likes of Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Rembrand are literally priceless.
article based on Wikipedia’s list of most expensive paintings