Top 7 Most Expensive Paintings Sold at Auction

The Allure of Fine Art

Fine art is a fascinating world where creativity and imagination are given physical form. Throughout history, art has been a medium of expression that has captured the essence of different eras and cultures. The value of these artistic masterpieces has gone beyond monetary terms and into the realm of cultural heritage and human achievement. However, the monetary value of these paintings can still astound us, reaching astronomical figures during auctions. This blog post will delve into the top seven most expensive paintings ever sold at auction.

The Card Players by Paul Cézanne

Sold for a staggering $250 million in 2011, The Card Players by Paul Cézanne sits comfortably at the top of our list. This painting is one of five in a series by the French post-impressionist artist. The exact version of the painting that was sold isn’t publicly known, but it is believed to be one that depicts two Provencal peasants in a very concentrated game of cards.

Interchange by Willem de Kooning

The second most expensive painting ever sold at auction is Interchange by Willem de Kooning. The painting was sold for approximately $300 million in a private sale in 2015. This abstract expressionist piece was completed in 1955 and was de Kooning’s first painting in his new suburban studio. Interchange is said to reflect his somewhat chaotic move from Manhattan to the countryside.

The Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) by Paul Gauguin

This painting by French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin was sold for nearly $300 million in a private sale in 2015. The painting depicts two Tahitian women sitting among a colorful landscape of blues and greens. The title, 'When Will You Marry?', is a question directed at the younger woman in the painting.

Number 17A by Jackson Pollock

In fourth place is Number 17A by Jackson Pollock, an abstract expressionist painting that was sold for approximately $200 million in a private sale in 2016. Pollock is best known for his contribution to the abstract expressionist movement and his unique style of drip painting. Number 17A is a prime example of his innovative technique.

No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) by Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko’s No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) is a color field painting that was sold for approximately $186 million in a private sale in 2014. Rothko is known for his abstract paintings that feature large blocks of color. This painting, like many of his works, is meant to evoke a variety of emotions in the viewer.

Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt

These pendant portraits by Rembrandt were sold for approximately $180 million in a private sale in 2015. The paintings depict a newly married couple, Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit. The portraits are notable for their large size and the level of detail in the subjects’ clothing and surroundings.

Les Femmes d'Alger (Version "O") by Pablo Picasso

Rounding out our list is Les Femmes d'Alger (Version "O") by Pablo Picasso, which was sold for $179.4 million in an auction at Christie's in 2015. This painting is the final version in a series of 15 paintings and drawings by Picasso. The series was inspired by Eugène Delacroix's 1834 painting The Women of Algiers in their Apartment.

The Enduring Value of Art

These seven paintings, representing diverse styles and periods, highlight the enduring value of art. They are more than just canvas and paint; they are the embodiment of human creativity, capturing the essence of different eras and cultures. The astronomical prices they command at auctions are a testament to their enduring significance and the deep appreciation collectors and institutions have for these masterpieces. Whether it’s a modern abstract piece or a centuries-old portrait, the world of fine art continues to captivate and inspire us, making it a truly timeless investment.