most expensive painting

Wow! Here are the 10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World!

The 10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World What do you think when you see a painting? Beautiful? Amazing? Or do you need clarification about how to paint it because it's too good? Indeed, thoughts like these often come to mind when we see a painting.

In reality, paintings are not only made for exhibitions. Some are made to be sold. Even some people dare to give a high price to get the artwork.

But do you already know what paintings are included in the ten most expensive paintings in the world? Are you curious? Let's find out through the explanation below!

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The 10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World

Most of the world's most expensive paintings were painted before the 19th century and are kept in museums. So, these paintings can be seen publicly. According to Art in Context, here are the ten most expensive paintings in the world.

1.Mona Lisa (1503) – Leonardo da Vinci

most expensive painting
Source: Kumparan

Who doesn't know the painting Mona Lisa, Whizmin thinks that everyone in the world knows Mona Lisa. Leonardo da Vinci's work became the world's first and most expensive painting. In fact, in 1962, this painting was valued at $100 million. The price continued to increase until 2021 when the Mona Lisa was estimated at a cost of more than $867 million.

Why do you think this painting can be so expensive? Well, there are several reasons for its uniqueness. First, Leonardo used a painting technique not widely used by artists at that time, namely the sfumato technique.

Have you ever heard of the sfumato technique? Yes! Usually, in art and culture subjects, you will be taught about this technique. The sfumato technique is a painting technique without lines or boundaries. Leonardo did not use an outline but used shading to create the effect of shadows and the illusion of light. Thanks to this technique, Leonardo was praised as the pioneer of innovation in painting.

Another reason, the Mona Lisa painting also has a unique smile. Try to look at the artwork carefully. It will seem like the painting is looking at you since it focuses on the viewer.

In addition, the image of Mona Lisa's mouth is also unique. It looks like a smile. However, if you keep looking at it, the smile will disappear. How about that? Is that true? Try it yourself!

It's worth it for the Mona Lisa painting to become the most expensive painting in the world because of its uniqueness that cannot be found in other pictures.

2. Salvator Mundi (1500) – Leonardo da Vinci

most expensive painting
Source: Art in Context

The name Leonardo da Vinci is known not only for painting the Mona Lisabut also for the painting entitled Salvator Mundi. . Unfortunately, until now, people have yet to learn precisely where this painting is. How could that be? Many say that this painting is in the Middle East. However, some also believe that this painting is in Switzerland.

Salvator Mundi , is popular because it is known as Leonardo da Vinci's last painting and was bought by an Arab prince, Prince Badr bin Abdullah. He was willing to spend around 6.4 trillion rupiahs to purchase this painting. Some say the artwork that was bought is fake; however, until now, this news has yet to be confirmed.

The painting of Salvator Mundi painting is called "The Painting of Jesus as the Savior of the World." The image shows Christ holding a glass orb in one hand while the other hand is raised with crossed fingers as if blessing the viewers of the artwork.

3. Interchanges (1955) – Willem de Kooning

most expensive painting

Moving on from Leonardo da Vinci's painting, there is a painting called Interchanges which belongs to the expressionist-abstract art genre. This painting was created by Willem de Kooning in 1995 and is exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago, United States.

Interchanges may look simple, but it depicts movement, making it dynamic, despite not portraying any object because it was intentionally made abstract.

Thanks to its uniqueness, the Interchanges painting was sold for $300 million or around IDR 4.3 trillion in 2015.

4. The Card Players (1892) – Paul Cézanne

most expensive painting
Source: Dictio Community

The painting of The Card Players was created by French artist Paul Cézanne in 1892. Interestingly, this painting consists of five series, each differing in size and subject matter. One of them can be seen in the image above. The artwork Whizmate just saw above turns out to be the most expensive version. Meanwhile, the other four paintings are exhibited in various museums worldwide.

The Card Players depicts several French peasants playing cards, and a relatively calm atmosphere can be seen in the painting.

In 2011, The Card Players s' buyer was Qatar's royal family. They paid around $274 million or IDR 3 trillion.

5. Nafea Faa Ipoipo? / When Will You Marry? (1892) – Paul Gauguin

most expensive painting

The name of the painting is Nafea Faa Ipoipo. It comes from the Tahitian language. It is then translated into English as When Will You Marry?

In 1892, this painting was created by French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. This painting tells the story of two young women in a meadow. Some interpret it as them sunbathing.

With its unique coloring and theme, this painting continued to be praised until Paul died in 1903. After that, his work was kept in Switzerland for almost half a century.

In the end, one of the museums in Qatar bought this painting for a high price, around $300 million or IDR 4.3 trillion in 2015.

6. Number 17A (1948) – Jackson Pollock

most expensive painting
Source: ShopBack

Have you ever heard the name, Jackson Pollock? He is a famous and respected American abstract artist. His work titled Number 17A is one of his expressionist-abstract works created in 1948.

This painting caught people's attention because of its various abstract colors that are pleasing to the eye. Eventually, it was bought by a collector and billionaire named Kenneth C. Griffin for $200 million or around IDR 2.9 trillion in 2015.

7. Water Serpents II (1907) – Gustav Klimt

most expensive painting
Source: Wikipedia

The painting of Water Serpents II painting also known as Wasserschlangen II , was created in 1907 by Gustav Klimt. This painting is a continuation of Water Serpents I . Like the first painting, Water Serpents II also has a theme of the sensuality of the female body and same-sex relationships.

Water Serpents II is a painting rich in history. During World War II, it was stolen by the Nazis. Initially, the picture belonged to Jenny Steiner, a Jew who had to flee to Portugal because of Nazi threats. As a result, Water Serpents II was confiscated by the Nazis because it belonged to a Jewish person and was handed over to Gustav Ucicky.

Interestingly, Ucicky did not dispose of the painting but instead displayed it on the wall of his apartment. After Ucicky passed away, he handed the artwork to his wife, Ursula. Long story short, Ursula sold the painting. However, since it was still considered a stolen work of art, she had to undergo a complicated procedure involving Jenny Steiner as the original owner of the painting.

After taking care of all permits, Water Serpents II successfully sold to Bouvier, one of the connoisseurs of art. Then, in 2013, the painting was resold by him to a Russian billionaire named Rybolovlev.

After two years, in 2015, the painting was sold again for $170 million or equivalent to IDR 2-3 trillion, and purchased by an undisclosed buyer. However, the buyer was rumored to be the unnamed Princess of Qatar. Starting in October 2022, Water Serpents II will be exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands.

8. No. 6 (Violet, Green, and Red) (1951) – Mark Rothko

most expensive painting
Source: SINDOnews

Who would have thought that a simple painting would become one of the most expensive paintings in the world? The artwork g titled No. 6 No.6 (Violet, Green and Red) belongs to the category of abstract expressionism, created by Mark Rothko in 1951.

The painting is simple but unique, with a gradation of red, green, and violet colors and a blurry or uneven impression. This artwork was sold at a high price of $186 million or Rp2.69 trillion in 2014.

9. Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (1634) – Rembrandt van Rijn

most expensive painting
Source: The New York Times

Next is a work by artist Rembrandt titled Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit, named after the actual couple. The painting was made in 1634 when the couple got married.

According to historians and art experts, both paintings cannot be separated. They were made to celebrate the wedding of a wealthy merchant family couple, Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit. So, even if they were sold, they must be sold as a package. In 2015, Rembrandt's work was sold for $195 million or Rp2.7 trillion.

10. Les Femmes d'Alger (“Version O”) / Women of Algiers (in 1955) – Pablo Picasso

most expensive painting
Source: Photo Tempo –

Whizmin is sure you have heard the name Pablo Picasso in your art and culture classes. He was a Spanish artist famous for the cubism art movement. One of his works is Les Femmes D'Alger  or Women of Algiers which was made in 1955.

Picasso's painting depicts a mistress in Algeria. Version O is considered the most successful one. In May 2015, this painting was auctioned in New York and was bought by a collector for $179.4 million or Rp2.6 trillion. Imagine, the painting was sold in just 11 minutes!

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So, those are the ten most expensive paintings in the world. Which one is your favorite? It must be hard to choose because each artwork is unique. Some are simple, using many colors, and rich in history.

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