This list compiles the top ten most valuable paintings of all time by using adjusted prices. The original prices from auction have been adjusted using the current consumer price index. The list includes famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock.
The Card Players– Paul Cezanna, 1892
This painting was purchased in 2011 for around $254 million by the Royal Family of Qatar in a private sale, making it the most expensive painting ever sold. It is a part of a series of paintings named The Card Players by Paul Cezanne, a French Post-Impressionist painter during the early1890s. The painting consists of peasants smoking pipes while playing cards. It is considered by art critics to be one of Cezanna’s greatest pieces of art, and it was painted during his final years where he created some of his best work.
No. 5, 1948– Jackson Pollock, 1948
This painting was sold in a private auction in November of 2006 for around $159 million. No.5, 1948 is one of Pollock’s contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. This painting stands eight feet tall by four feet, and to the average person it looks simply like a bunch of splattered paint on fiberboard. Pollock emitted his passion on to the board, and the painting is one of the most iconic abstract paintings of all time.
Woman III– Willem de Kooning, 1953
This painting was sold to billionaire Steven A. Cohen for $156 million in 2006. It’s painter, Willem de Kooning, was an abstract expressionist painter. He painted this piece as a part of a collection of paintings done between 1951-1953 with the theme of women and femininity in mind.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I– Gustav Klimt, 1907
This 1907 dated painting by Gustav Klimt was sold for $152 million in June 2006. The painting was done in oils on canvas, and then the artist decided to use real silver and gold on his painting. These additional artistic touches make this painting one of the most elaborate of all time.
Portrait of Dr. Gachet– Vincent vanGogh, 1890
One of van Gogh’s greatest, the Portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold for $146 million in 1990. The subject of the picture is Dr. Paul Gachet, the doctor who took care of van Gogh during the final days of his life. This was the first version of the painting that was sold; the second varied in color and style.
Bal du moulin de la Galette– Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1876
Painted by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1876, the Bal du moulin de la Galette was sold at auction for $138 million in 2004. It is an iconic painting of the impressionism style, and it depicts a busy town in the Montmartre district in Paris. It is a realistic depiction of an everyday event in French life.
Garcon a la pipe– Pablo Picasso, 1905
This painting was painted by Pablo Picasso at age 24 during his Rose Period. It was sold in May 2004 for around $126 million, and it is said to be sold mainly for the Picasso name, not the painting itself. It is an image of a Parisian boy holding a pipe and wearing a wreath of flowers and leaves around his head.
The Scream– Edvard Munch, 1895
Perhaps one of the most recognizable paintings, The Scream by expressionist painter Edvard Munch was recently sold in May 2012 for $119 million. This was the fourthversion of the painting; the others are located in various art galleries in Norway.
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust– Pablo Picasso, 1932
This $112 million painting was sold in May 2010 to an unknown buyer. This was painted during Picasso’s later years in 1932, and the subject of the painting was his mistress and muse Marie-Therese Walter.
Portrait of Joseph Roulin– Vincent van Gogh, 1889
This van Gogh painting was sold for around $108 million in August of 1989 to the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It is a part of the Roulin Family group of portraits done by van Gogh from 1888 to 1889.
Written by Mathieu Lambert, French-American and avid art enthusiast from PaintingFrom.com