List of most expensive paintings

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1500) is the most expensive painting ever sold as of 2018.

This is a list of the highest known prices paid for paintings. The current record price is approximately $450 million paid for Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi in November 2017.[1][2]

Background

The most famous paintings, especially old master works done before 1803, are generally owned or held at museums, for viewing by patrons. Since the museums rarely sell them they are considered priceless. Guinness World Records lists da Vinci's Mona Lisa as having the highest ever insurance value for a painting. On permanent display at the Louvre 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$830 million in 2018.[3]

The earliest sale on the list below (Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh) is from March 1987; with a price of £24.75 million (£68.4 million in 2018 dollars). This sale tripled the previous record, and introduced a new era in top art sales. Before this, the highest absolute price paid for a painting was £8.1 million (£18.9 million in 2018 dollars) paid by the J. Paul Getty Museum for Andrea Mantegna's Adoration of the Magi at Christie's in London on April 18, 1985.[4] In constant dollars, the highest price paid before 1987 was by the National Gallery of Art when in February 1967 they acquired Leonardo da Vinci's Ginevra de' Benci for around $5 million ($38 million in 2018 dollars) from the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. The sale of Van Gogh's Sunflowers was the first time a "modern" (in this case 1888) painting became the record holder, as opposed to the old master paintings which previously had dominated the market. In contrast, there are currently only nine pre-1875 paintings among the listed top 89, and none created between 1635 and 1874.

An exceptional case is graffiti artist David Choe, who accepted payment in shares for painting graffiti art in the headquarters of a fledgling Facebook. His shares were of limited value when he was given them, but by the time of Facebook's IPO they were valued at around $200m.[5]

Van Gogh, Picasso, and Warhol

The Red Vineyard (1888), the only painting Vincent van Gogh sold during his lifetime

Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol are by far the best-represented artists in the list. Whereas Picasso and Warhol became wealthy men, Van Gogh is known to have sold only one painting in his lifetime, The Red Vineyard, for 400 francs (approximately $2,000 in 2018 dollars) to the impressionist painter and heiress Anna Boch.[6] Prices realised for just his nine paintings listed below, when adjusted for inflation to 2017, add up to over $900 million.

Most expensive painting by a female artist

Georgia O'Keeffe holds the record for the highest price paid for a painting by a woman. On 20 November 2014 at Sotheby's, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art bought her 1932 painting Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 for $44.4 million (equivalent to $47.0 million in 2018).[7][8]

Interactive graph

List of highest prices paid

This list is ordered by consumer price index inflation-adjusted value (in bold) in millions of United States dollars in 2018.[note 1] Where necessary, the price is first converted to dollars using the exchange rate at the time the painting was sold. The inflation adjustment may change as recent inflation rates are often revised. A list in another currency may be in a slightly different order due to exchange-rate fluctuations. Paintings are listed only once, i.e. for the highest price sold.

Adjusted price
(in millions)
Original price
(in millions)
Painting Image Artist Year Date of sale Rank
at sale
Seller Buyer Auction house
$460.3 $450.3 Salvator Mundi Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, c.1500, oil on walnut, 45.4 × 65.6 cm.jpg attributed to
Leonardo da Vinci
c. 1500 November 15, 2017 1 Dmitry Rybolovlev Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism[9] Christie's, New York[10]
~$317 ~$300 Interchange Willem de Kooning 1955 September 2015 1 David Geffen Foundation Kenneth C. Griffin Private sale[11]
$278 + $250 + [note 2] The Card Players Paul Cézanne 222.jpg Paul Cézanne 1892/93 April 2011 1 George Embiricos State of Qatar Private sale[12][13][14]
$222 $210 [15] Nafea Faa Ipoipo
(When Will You Marry?)
Paul Gauguin, Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?) 1892, oil on canvas, 101 x 77 cm.jpg Paul Gauguin 1892 September 2014 2 Rudolf Staechelin heirs State of Qatar Private sale[16]
~$211 ~$200 Number 17A Jackson Pollock 1948 September 2015 4 David Geffen Foundation Kenneth C. Griffin Private sale[11]
$197.7 $183.8 Wasserschlangen II Klimt - Wasserschlangen II (Freundinnen) - 1904.jpeg Gustav Klimt 1904-07 2013 2 Yves Bouvier Dmitry Rybolovlev Private sale [note 3]
$197 $186
(€140)
No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) Mark Rothko 1951 August 2014 3 Cherise Moueix Dmitry Rybolovlev Private sale via
Yves Bouvier[19]
$190 $180
(€160M
for pair)
Pendant portraits of
Maerten Soolmans
and Oopjen Coppit
Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit.jpeg Rembrandt 1634 September 2015 7 Éric de Rothschild Rijksmuseum
and Louvre
Private sale
[20]
$189.6 $179.4 Les Femmes d'Alger
("Version O")
Pablo Picasso 1955 May 11, 2015 5 Private collection Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani[21] Christie's, New York[22]
$180.1 $170.4 Nu couché Modigliani - Nu couché.jpg Amedeo Modigliani 1917/18 November 9, 2015 9 Laura Mattioli Rossi Liu Yiqian[23] Christie's, New York[24]
$174.0 $140 No. 5, 1948 Jackson Pollock 1948 November 2, 2006 1 David Geffen David Martinez Private sale via Sotheby's[25]
$170.9 $137.5 Woman III Willem de Kooning 1953 November 18, 2006 2 David Geffen Steven A. Cohen Private sale via Larry Gagosian[26]
$168.7 $165.0 Masterpiece Roy Lichtenstein 1962 January 2017 12 Agnes Gund[27][28] Steven A. Cohen[29] Private sale
$167.8 $135 Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I Gustav Klimt, 1907, Adele Bloch-Bauer I, Neue Galerie New York.jpg Gustav Klimt 1907 June 18, 2006 1 Maria Altmann Ronald Lauder, Neue Galerie Private sale via Christie's[30]
$166.7 $155 Le Rêve Pablo Picasso 1932 March 26, 2013 6 Steve Wynn Steven A. Cohen Private sale[31]
$157.2 $157.2 Nu couché (sur le côté gauche) Amedeo Modigliani 014.jpg Amedeo Modigliani 1917 May 15, 2018 Sotheby's, New York[32]
$158.2 $82.5 Portrait of Dr. Gachet Portrait of Dr. Gachet.jpg Vincent van Gogh 1890 May 15, 1990 1 Siegfried Kramarsky heirs Ryoei Saito[note 4][35] Christie's, New York
$156.6 $150 Adele Bloch-Bauer II Gustav Klimt 047.jpg Gustav Klimt 1912 2016 10 Oprah Winfrey [note 5] Unidentified buyer in China Private sale via Larry Gagosian[36]
$153.2 $142.4 Three Studies of Lucian Freud Francis Bacon 1969 November 12, 2013 8 [note 6] Elaine Wynn, ex-wife of Steve Wynn[39] Christie's, New York[40]
$149.8 $78.1 Bal du moulin de la Galette
[note 7]
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Le Moulin de la Galette.jpg Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1876 May 17, 1990 2 Betsey Whitney Ryoei Saito [note 8] Sotheby's, New York
$143.9 $140.8
(¥931.5)
Twelve Landscape Screens Qi Baishi 1925 December 17, 2017 Beijing Poly Auction[41]
$138.2 $104.2 Garçon à la pipe Garçon à la pipe.jpg Pablo Picasso 1905 May 5, 2004 3 Greentree Foundation
(Whitney family)
Guido Barilla (suspected)[42] Sotheby's, New York[43]
$130.9 $119.9 The Scream [note 9] The Scream Pastel.jpg Edvard Munch 1895 May 2, 2012 8 Petter Olsen Leon Black[44] Sotheby's, New York
$129.1 $120 Otahi Paul Gauguin 093.jpg Paul Gauguin 1893 2013 10 Yves Bouvier Dmitry Rybolovlev Private sale [note 10]
$129 $118 Reclining Nude With Blue Cushion Amedeo Modigliani Nu Couché au coussin Bleu.jpg Amedeo Modigliani 1917 2012 8 Steven A. Cohen Dmitry Rybolovlev Private sale via Yves Bouvier[19]
$126.4 $110.0 Flag [note 11] Jasper Johns 1958 March 2010 7 Jean-Christophe Castelli Steven A. Cohen Private sale, estimated price[46]
$122.3 $106.5 Nude, Green Leaves and Bust Pablo Picasso 1932 May 4, 2010 9 Frances Lasker Brody estate Leonard Blavatnik (suspected)[47][48] Christie's, New York[49]
$121.3 $58 plus
exchange of
works [note 12]
Portrait of Joseph Roulin Vincent van Gogh - Portrait of Joseph Roulin.jpg Vincent van Gogh 1889 August 1, 1989 1 Private collection, Zürich Museum of Modern Art New York Private sale via
Thomas Ammann,
Fine Art Zurich[50]
$118.9 $53.9 Irises Irises-Vincent van Gogh.jpg Vincent van Gogh 1889 November 11, 1987 1 John Whitney Payson, son of Joan Whitney Payson Alan Bond [note 13] Sotheby's, New York
$118.3 $95.2 Dora Maar au Chat Pablo Picasso 1941 May 3, 2006 6 Gidwitz family Boris Ivanishvili[51] Sotheby's, New York[52]
$115.0 $115 Young Girl with a Flower Basket Pablo Picasso, 1905, Fillette nue au panier de fleurs (Le panier fleuri), oil on canvas, 155 x 66 cm, private collection, New York.jpg Pablo Picasso 1905 May 8, 2018 David and Peggy Rockefeller Unidentified buyer Christie's, New York[53]
$116.4 $100.0 Eight Elvises Andy Warhol 1963 October 2008 10 Annibale Berlingieri The State of Qatar (suspected)[54][55] Private sale via Philippe Ségalot[56]
$113.7 + $105.7 + [note 14]
(¥10,300)
Anna's Light Barnett Newman 1968 October 4, 2013 DIC Corp. Private sale[57][58][59]
$113.4 $105.4 Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) Andy Warhol 1963 November 13, 2013 Sotheby's, New York[60]
$112.9 $110.5 Untitled Jean-Michel Basquiat 1982 May 18, 2017 Yusaku Maezawa Sotheby’s, New York[61]
$109.9 $71.5 Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe Vincent Willem van Gogh 102.jpg Vincent van Gogh 1889 November 19, 1998 5 Jacques Koerfer [de] heirs Christie's, New York
$108 $100 La Montagne Sainte-Victoire
vue du bosquet du Château Noir
Sainte-Victoire.jpg Paul Cézanne 1904 2013 [note 15] Edsel and Eleanor Ford House State of Qatar [62] Private sale[63][64]
$106.8 $76.7
(£49.5)
Massacre of the Innocents 0 Le Massacre des Innocents d'après P.P. Rubens - Musées royaux des beaux-arts de Belgique (2).JPG Peter Paul Rubens 1611 July 10, 2002 6 an Austrian family Kenneth Thomson[note 16] Sotheby's, London
$100.8 $95.4 Nurse Roy Lichtenstein 1964 November 9, 2015 Christie's, New York[24]
$100.4 $86.3 Triptych, 1976 Francis Bacon 1976 May 14, 2008 Jean-Pierre Moueix heirs[66] Roman Abramovich[67] Sotheby's, New York[68]
$99.7 $49.3
(F300)
Les Noces de Pierrette Pablo Picasso 1905 November 30, 1989 3 Fredrik Roos [sv][69] Tomonori Tsurumaki Binoche et Godeau Paris
$99.4 $80.0 False Start Jasper Johns 1959 October 12, 2006 11 David Geffen Kenneth C. Griffin Private sale via Richard Gray[70]
$98.9 $57 A Wheatfield with Cypresses Vincent van Gogh - Wheat Field with Cypresses (National Gallery version).jpg Vincent van Gogh 1889 May 1993 6 Emil Georg Bührle's son Walter H. Annenberg [note 17] Private sale via Steven Mazoh
$98.9 $85
(€54)
Te Fare (La maison) Te Fare (La maison) Paul Gauguin 1892.jpg Paul Gauguin 1892 June 2008 Yves Bouvier Dmitry Rybolovlev Private sale [note 18]
$96.7 $47.8 Yo, Picasso Pablo Picasso 1901 May 9, 1989 2 Wendell Cherry Stavros Niarchos Sotheby's, New York
$96.7 $80.0 Turquoise Marilyn Andy Warhol 1964 May 20, 2007 Stefan Edlis Steven A. Cohen Private sale via Larry Gagosian[72]
$95.3 $70.0 Portrait of Alfonso d'Avalos with a Page Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian) - Portrait of Alfonso d'Avalos, Marquis of Vasto, in Armor with a Page - Google Art Project.jpg Titian 1533 November 2003 10 AXA insurance company Getty Museum Private sale via
Hervé Aaron[73][74]
$94.8 $86.9 Orange, Red, Yellow Mark Rothko 1961 May 8, 2012 David Pincus estate Christie's, New York[75]
$91.9 $91.9 Chop Suey Edward Hopper 1929 November 13, 2018 Barney A. Ebsworth estate Christie's, New York[76]
$93.7 $80.5
(£40.9)
Le Bassin aux Nymphéas Le bassin aux nymphéas - Claude Monet.jpg Claude Monet 1919 June 24, 2008 J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Christie's, London[77]
$90.3 $90.3 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) David Hockney 1972 November 15, 2018 Christie’s , New York [78]
$91.0 $60.5 Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier Paulcezanneart.jpg Paul Cézanne 1894 May 10, 1999 9 Whitney Family [note 19] Sotheby's, New York
$89.1 $84.2 Black Fire I Barnett Newman 1961 May 13, 2014 Private Collection Anonymous Christie's, New York[80]
$88.0 $72.8 White Center (Yellow, Pink
and Lavender on Rose)
Mark Rothko 1950 May 15, 2007 David Rockefeller, Sr. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani [81] Sotheby's, New York[82]
$85.8 $85.8 Suprematist Composition Suprematist Composition - Kazimir Malevich.jpg Kazimir Malevich 1916 May 15, 2018 The Nahmad family Anonymous Christie's, New York [note 20]
$87.5 $39.7
(£24.75)
Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers Vincent Willem van Gogh 127.jpg Vincent van Gogh 1888 March 30, 1987 1 Helen Beatty,
daughter-in-law of
Chester Beatty
Yasuo Goto, Yasuda Comp. Christie's, London
$84.7 $84.7 Nymphéas en fleur Claude Monet - Nympheas en fleur.jpg Claude Monet 1914-1917 May 8, 2018 David and Peggy Rockefeller Unidentified buyer Christie's, New York[86]
$86.7 $81.9 Triple Elvis Andy Warhol 1963 November 12, 2014 WestSpiel [de] [87] Christie's, New York[88]
$86.7 $71.7 Green Car Crash
(Green Burning Car I)
Andy Warhol 1963 May 16, 2007 Private collection, Zürich Philip Niarchos Christie's, New York[89]
$86.6 $81.9 No. 10 Mark Rothko 1958 May 13, 2015 Christie's, New York[90][91]
$85.5 $80.8 Three Studies for a
Portrait of John Edwards
Francis Bacon 1984 May 13, 2014 Private Collection Anonymous Christie's, New York.[80]
$85.0 $81.4 Meule Monet Grainstack in the Sunlight 1891.jpg Claude Monet 1891 November 16, 2016 Christie's, New York[92]
~$84 ~$75
(€50-60) [note 21]
Darmstadt Madonna Darmstadtmadonna.jpg Hans Holbein 1526 July 12, 2011 Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse Reinhold Würth Private sale via
Christoph Graf Douglas[93]
$83.1 $81.3 Laboureur dans un champ Van Gogh - Acker mit pflügenden Bauern.jpeg Vincent van Gogh 1889 November 13, 2017 Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass estate Christie's, New York[94]
$80.8 $80.8 Odalisque couchée aux magnolias Henri Matisse 1923 May 8, 2018 David and Peggy Rockefeller Unidentified buyer Christie's, New York[95]
$82.5 $70.6
(£50)
Diana and Actaeon

Titian - Diana and Actaeon - 1556-1559.jpg

Titian 1556–1559 February 1, 2009 Duke of Sutherland National Galleries of Scotland
& National Gallery, London
Private sale[96][97][98]
$82.3 $40.7 Au Lapin Agile Pablo Picasso, 1905, Au Lapin Agile (At the Lapin Agile), oil on canvas, 99.1 x 100.3 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art.jpg Pablo Picasso 1904 November 27, 1989 5 Linda de Roulet, daughter of Joan Whitney Payson Walter H. Annenberg Sotheby's, New York
$82.2 $68 The Gross Clinic Thomas Eakins, American - Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross (The Gross Clinic) - Google Art Project.jpg Thomas Eakins 1875 April 12, 2007 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia Museum of Art Private sale[99]
$82.0 $75.1 No 1 (Royal Red and Blue) Mark Rothko 1954 November 13, 2012 John and Anne Marion Sotheby's, New York[100]
$81.6 $38.5
(£20.9)
Acrobate et jeune arlequin
[note 22]
Pablo Picasso 1905 November 28, 1988 3 Roger Janssen heirs?
[note 23]
Mitsukoshi Christie's, London
$80.0 $55.0 Femme aux Bras Croisés Pablo Picasso, 1901-02, Femme aux Bras Croisés, Woman with Folded Arms (Madchenbildnis), oil on canvas, 81 × 58 cm (32 × 23 in).jpg Pablo Picasso 1902 November 8, 2000 Chauncey McCormick heirs Christie's, New York[101]
$79.2 $69.0 Nude Sitting on a Divan
("La Belle Romaine")
Amedeo Modigliani 063.jpg Amedeo Modigliani 1917 November 2, 2010 Halit Cıngıllıoglu[102] Sotheby's, New York[103]
$78.9 $63.5 Police Gazette[104] Willem de Kooning 1955 October 12, 2006 David Geffen Steven A. Cohen Private sale via Richard Gray.[70]
$78.2 $71.7
(£45)
Diana and Callisto TitianDianaCallistoEdinburgh.jpg Titian 1556–1559 March 2, 2012 Duke of Sutherland National Galleries of Scotland
& National Gallery, London
Private sale [105]
$74.6 $70.5 Untitled (New York City) Cy Twombly 1968 November 11, 2015 Sydney M. Irmas heirs Christie's, New York[106]
$74.5 $49.5 Femme assise dans un jardin Pablo Picasso 1938 November 10, 1999 Robert Saidenberg [note 24] [108] Sotheby's, New York
$74.3 $70.2
(£42.2)
Portrait of George Dyer Talking Francis Bacon 1966 February 13, 2014 Christie's, London[109][110]
$74.1 $47.5 Peasant Woman Against
a Background of Wheat
Vincent Willem van Gogh 097.jpg Vincent van Gogh 1890 1997 11 Steve Wynn[note 25] Private sale via
Acquavella Galleries Inc.,
New York[112]
$73.7 $69.6 Untitled Cy Twombly 1970 November 12, 2014 Nicola del Roscio [87] Christie's, New York[113]
$73.7 $69.6 Four Marlons Andy Warhol 1966 November 12, 2014 WestSpiel [87] Christie's, New York[114]
$72.9 $65.5
(¥425.5)
Eagle Standing on Pine Tree[115] Qi Baishi Eagle.jpg Qi Baishi 1946 May 22, 2011 Liu Yiqian Hunan TV & Broadcast
Intermediary Co[116]
China Guardian Auctions
$72.8 $63.4 Men in Her Life Andy Warhol 1962 November 8, 2010 Jose Mugrabi Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani [117] Phillips de Pury & Company[118]
$71.6 $70.1 Contraste de formes Fernand Léger 1913 November 13, 2017 Anna-Maria [de] and Stephen Kellen [de] Foundation Christie's, New York[119]
$71.3 $67.45 La Gommeuse Pablo Picasso - La Gommeuse.jpg Pablo Picasso 1901 November 5, 2015 William I. Koch Sotheby's, New York.[120][121]
$71.1 $35.2 Portrait of a Halberdier Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci) (Italian, Florentine) - Portrait of a Halberdier (Francesco Guardi?) - Google Art Project.jpg Pontormo 1537 May 31, 1989 5 Chauncey Stillman Getty Museum Christie's, New York
$71.2 $67.4 Buste de femme
(Femme à la résille)
Pablo Picasso 1938 May 11, 2015 Steve Wynn Joseph Lau[122] Christie's, New York[22]
$70.1 $66.3 L’Allée des Alyscamps Van Gogh - Les Alyscamps, Allee in Arles1.jpeg Vincent van Gogh 1888 May 5, 2015 Sotheby's, New York[123]
$70.1 $66.2 Untitled Mark Rothko 1952 May 13, 2014 Private Collection Anonymous Christie's, New York[80]
$69.2 $62.1
(¥402.5)
Zhichuan Resettlement[124] ZhichuanResettlement.jpg Wang Meng 1350 June 4, 2011 Beijing Poly Auction
$69.2 $66.3 Untitled XXV Willem de Kooning 1977 November 15, 2016 Christie's, New York[125]
$68.9 $65.1 Jeanne (Spring) Édouard Manet - Jeanne (Spring).jpg Édouard Manet 1881 November 5, 2014 Oliver Hazard Payne heirs[126] Getty Museum Christie's, New York[127]
$68.9 $68.9 Woman as Landscape Willem de Kooning 1955 November 13, 2018 Barney A. Ebsworth estate Christie's, New York[76]
$68.7 $61.7 1949-A-No.1 Clyfford Still 1949 November 9, 2011 City and County of Denver Sotheby's, New York[128]

See also