10 Most Expense Paintings In The World

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In the world of fine art, the value of a masterpiece is as much a testament to its cultural significance as it is a reflection of the wealth and passion of its collectors. Adjusting for inflation, the price tags attached to the most coveted paintings in history soar to even more staggering heights, painting a vivid picture of the art market’s evolution over time. This article delves into the exclusive realm of the most expensive paintings ever sold, with prices recalibrated to today’s dollar value, offering a fascinating glimpse at the timeless allure of these iconic works and the ever-climbing summit of art investment. From private sales to public auctions, join us as we unveil the adjusted prices that define the zenith of artistic worth.

The Standard Bearer (Rembrandt, 1636)


($213.8 Million) “The Standard Bearer” (1636) is a striking oil painting by Rembrandt, illustrating a man in ornate attire, holding a standard. This masterpiece exemplifies Rembrandt’s skill in rendering texture and light, capturing the subject’s character and the era’s grandeur. While its exact monetary value is undisclosed, works by Rembrandt are highly sought after, often commanding extraordinary prices in the art market, signifying their immense cultural and historical importance as well as their appeal to collectors and museums globally.

Les Femmes d’Alger


($221.4 Million) “Les Femmes d’Alger” is a series of 15 paintings and numerous drawings by Pablo Picasso, created in 1954-55 as an homage to Eugène Delacroix, who painted the original “The Women of Algiers” in 1834. Picasso’s series, marked by bold color and fragmented cubist forms, reimagines the scene in his unique style. Version “O,” the final and most celebrated piece, sold for $179.4 million in 2015, setting an auction record for any artwork at the time, reflecting its monumental significance and market allure.

Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit


($222 Million) The pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit are full-length masterpieces painted by Rembrandt in 1634 to commemorate the subjects’ wedding. Exuding elegance and wealth, the paintings are renowned for their exquisite detail and psychological depth. In 2016, these portraits were jointly purchased by the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum for €160 million, a testament to their significance in art history. They epitomize Rembrandt’s portraiture prowess and stand as cultural treasures of the Dutch Golden Age.

No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)


($230 Million) “No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)” is a prominent painting by the Russian-American Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko. Created in 1951, this piece is a quintessential example of Rothko’s signature style, characterized by large blocks of color that appear to float on the canvas, inviting deep contemplation. In 2014, the painting made headlines when it was reportedly sold for a staggering $186 million in a private sale, underscoring Rothko’s enduring legacy and the high demand for his meditative, color-infused works.

Water Serpents II


($230.9 Million) “Water Serpents II,” painted by Gustav Klimt between 1904 and 1907, is a sensuous and intricate work that exemplifies the Art Nouveau style. This painting is part of a series that explores the theme of feminine beauty and eroticism through a mythological lens, featuring entwined female figures set against a richly patterned background. The artwork, once owned by the esteemed Bloch-Bauer family, reflects Klimt’s fascination with the female form and his masterful use of gold leaf and ornamental motifs.

Number 17A


($247 Million) “Number 17A” is an abstract expressionist painting by Jackson Pollock, created in 1948. Known for his revolutionary drip technique, Pollock’s work is a vibrant, chaotic web of colors and textures that invites viewers to explore the subconscious mind and emotions. “Number 17A” exemplifies the energy and complexity of Pollock’s action painting style. In 2015, it garnered significant attention when it reportedly sold for $200 million, reflecting its monumental status in the art world and Pollock’s influence on modern art.

When Will You Marry?


($259 Million) “When Will You Marry?” is an iconic oil painting by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, completed in 1892. This vividly colored work features two Tahitian women against a tropical landscape, embodying Gauguin’s impressions of the exotic and idyllic life in Tahiti. The painting is celebrated for its rich symbolism and Gauguin’s departure from European conventions. In February 2015, it achieved a record-breaking sale price of nearly $300 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

The Card Players


($325 Million+) “The Card Players” is a series of oil paintings by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne, created during the early 1890s. One of the series’ five paintings stands out as the most recognized and celebrated, depicting Provencal peasants deeply absorbed in a game of cards. The artwork’s composition, with its quiet intensity and masterful use of color and form, has been highly influential in the art world. In 2011, one version sold for a record $250 million, reflecting its immense historical and artistic value.

Interchange (de Kooning)


($370 Million) “Interchange,” by the Dutch-American abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning, is a seminal work from 1955 that epitomizes the energetic and gestural style of the artist. Renowned for its vibrant, sweeping brushstrokes that blur the line between figure and landscape, “Interchange” is a testament to de Kooning’s exploration of color, form, and the human figure. This painting made history in September 2015 when it was purchased for a staggering $300 million, securing its place as one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

Salvator Mundi (Leonardo)


($537.6 Million) “Salvator Mundi,” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, is a mesmerizing portrayal of Christ as the savior of the world, dating back to the early 16th century. The artwork is celebrated for its ethereal sfumato technique and the enigmatic blessing gesture of Christ. After its record-breaking sale for $450.3 million at a Christie’s auction in 2017, “Salvator Mundi” became the most expensive painting ever sold, a testament to Leonardo’s enduring legacy and the artwork’s profound impact on Renaissance art and beyond.

Written by Derrick Krom

Derrick is a recent graduate of Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia where he received a B.A. in English and Communication Studies. Throughout his life, Derrick has traveled the country and even got to study abroad in London, England for four amazing months. He's a guitar player, avid music fan and lover of literature, film, and all things entertainment.