Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World 2017

10. Flag by Jasper Johns, 1958 $ 110 million.



Flag (painting) Flag is an encaustic painting by the American artist Jasper Johns. Created when Johnswas 24 (1954–55), two years after he was discharged from the US Army, this painting was the first of many works that Johns has said were inspired by a dream of the U.S. flag in 1954.

9. The Scream by Edvard Munch, 1895 $ 119.9 million. 

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The ScreamThe Scream (Norwegian: Skrik) is the popular name given to each of four versions of a composition, created as both paintings and pastels, by Norwegian Expressionist artist Edvard Munch between 1893 and 1910.

8. Gustav Klimt – Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I  $135 Million.


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One of the most famous paintings of Van Gogh, this work was completed in the last few months of Van Gogh’s life. It was a portrait of Dr Paul Gachet who was taking care of Van Gogh when he was ill in his final months. Although an iconic figure today, Van Gogh only sold two paintings in his entire lifetime, one of which was this portrait. His hope had been that painting a prominent member of French society would bring him more money and work. Believe it not! This distinctive oil on canvas was sold by the estate of Siegfried Kamarsky to the Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito for USD 82.5 million in 1990. With its distinctive art depicting the melancholic expression on Dr Gachet’s face, the face on hand pose and the foxglove plant on the table in front, this work remains one of Van Gogh’s most exceptional. 

7. Willem de Kooning – Woman III$ 137.5 Million.

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One more abstract expressionist piece, the Woman III was sold by David Geffen to Steven Cohen in the year 2006 for a jaw dropping USD 137.5 million. The Woman III is one of six paintings done by de Kooning in which de Kooning explores the theme of the female figure. In this series, women are depicted in graffiti like manner with giant eyes, toothy smiles and hands more resembling claws, all set amidst several colourful layers of paint. This series of paintings was done between 1951 and 1953. One look at the image of this work and you know that this is truly one unique work. A work of abstract art, this piece is nevertheless fairly accessible. This has been considered by some critics to be a form of strugglers art, an output of the artist’s own painful experiences in life. This wonderful piece is said to exhibit the artist’s conflicted attitude towards women.

6. Jackson Pollock – No.5, 1948 $ 140 Million. 

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This is classic Picasso at his finest, avant garde and controversial. This is a 1932 work in oil is said to depict his partner Marie Therese Walter. It displays the Picasso hallmark of distorted depiction along with contrasting colours and simplified outlines to incorporate some elements of Fauvism. It was bought by Steven Cohen in the year 2013 from Steve Wynn for a price of USD 155 million. As it typical with Picasso, even though it is from a while back, this painting still retains a contemporary feel. With very clean colour composition, one interesting twist in this painting is that the lady in the picture has 5 fingers on both hands, the symbolism being unknown. Conceivably, the artist considers this woman to be someone a cut above the average lady on the street. 

5. Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon, 1969. - $ 142.4 Million. 

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This work shows Lucian Freud, the British painter and friend of Francis Bacon and was completed in the year 1969. This oil on canvas was sold at Christies New York in 2013 for a whopping USD 142.4 million. This life sized painting executed in Bacon’s favoured triptych format shows Freud in three different postures. With Bacon’s body of work being relatively small and the ability of this painting to shed more light on the friendship and rivalry between Bacon and Freud, the valuation of this piece should come as no surprise. 

4.La Rêve(The Dream)by Pablo Picasso,1932 $155 Million

Image result for La Rêve(The Dream)by Pablo Picasso

This is classic Picasso at his finest, avant garde and controversial. This is a 1932 work in oil is said to depict his partner Marie Therese Walter. It displays the Picasso hallmark of distorted depiction along with contrasting colours and simplified outlines to incorporate some elements of Fauvism. It was bought by Steven Cohen in the year 2013 from Steve Wynn for a price of USD 155 million. As it typical with Picasso, even though it is from a while back, this painting still retains a contemporary feel. With very clean colour composition, one interesting twist in this painting is that the lady in the picture has 5 fingers on both hands, the symbolism being unknown. Conceivably, the artist considers this woman to be someone a cut above the average lady on the street.

3. The Card Players by Paul Cézanne,2011 - $ 250 Million

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This painting held the record for the most expensive one in the world before the sale of When Will You Marry in 2015. The Card Players had been bought by the Qatari royal family from the Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos for a whopping USD 274 million in the year 2011. This painting is one of those classic images that you surely would not fail to recognize. It is an image that has been seen in coffee table books, luxury good magazines and art history curricula for many years now. It makes up one of 5 pieces painted by Cezanne as part of his post impressionist series completed between the early and the mid 1890s. This iconic image features two stony faced men sitting at a small wooden table playing cards. The painting style and the use of pastels is classic Cezanne with the subtle expressions on the faces beautifully conveying two players completely immersed in the game. A bottle of wine placed on the table adds to the impressive, yet subtle detailing. It may interest you to know that the two models used for the painting were Cezanne’s gardener and farmhand at his family estate! 

2. When Will You Marry, Paul Gauguin, $ 300 Million 

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Paul Gaugin’s 1892 painting is currently the most expensive painting in the world. His painting of two Tahitian girls smashed the world record in February 2015 when it was bought by the Qatar museums from a private Swiss collector Rudolf Staechelin for an astounding USD 300 million! It depicts two women against a natural landscape, one in a native dress and another in a colonial style missionary dress symbolising the fusion of Polynesian and European cultures. This painting was completed by Gauguin at around 43 when he had gone to Tahiti to escape all that was conventional and artificial in Europe. This painting had been on loan with the Basel Art Museum for over 60 years before being withdrawn from display by the seller and sold. Seemingly unimpressive, this artwork illustrates the authenticity of a rooted culture in a bygone era.

1. Mona Lisa - $ 790 Million

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Guinness World Records lists the Mona Lisa as having the highest insurance value for a painting in history. On permanent display at The Louvre museum in Paris, the Mona Lisa was assessed at US$100 million on December 14, 1962. Taking inflation into account, the 1962 value would be around US$790 million in 2016
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