10 Most Expensive Paintings in the World 2021


These top most expensive paintings in the world 2021 will blow your mind away. Can you express a whole life by a single sentence? or is there any language that can express the clear meaning of a known thing from the unknown? Yes, that language exists and that is “Painting”. Only painting is such a language that the whole world can understand it without any education.

Let’s see world’s 10 most expensive paintings of the famous painters including price, artist, location, owner, famous for, painting year, painting materials, sizes, selling time, etc.

01. Salvator Mundi

Price: $450.3 Million
Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Location: Saudi Arabia
Year of painting: 1500 Ac
Materials: Oil painting on Walnut
Dimension: 25.8*18.2 inch
Year Sold: 2017
Owner: Mohammed bin Salman (Prince of Saudi Arabia)

most expensive painting in the world

Salvator Mundi

The painting reflects its name Salvator Mundi, a Latin phrase which means Saviour of the world theme. Here Christ has a posture of the cross sign in one hand and the other hand is holding a transparent Orb which is crystal clear and the orb seems not so shiny.

The attire of Christ here is a renaissance one. Perhaps all Vinci paintings convey a deep message like this one. Basically all his paintings are stored whether in Museum or in Church but this one has got the private ownership by the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and acquired by the Department of culture and tourism of Abu Dhabi.

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02. Interchange

Price: $300 million
Artist: Willem de kooning
Location: Art Institute of Chicago
Year of Painting: 1995
Dimension: 79 * 69 inch
Material: Oil painting on Canvas
Year sold: 2015
Owner: Kenneth Griffin

most expensive painting


De Kooning is famous for his abstract paintings. He used to paint Woman series painting later on in 1955 he had this creation. It reflects a change in his painting themes from women to abstract urban landscapes. 

It represents a shift in Kooning’s artistic style as a result of the influence of artist Franz Kline, who motivated de Kooning to paint with swift gestural marks instead of just aggressive brushstrokes. A fleshy pink mass in the center of the painting indicates a seated woman. It has some special parts as it depicts a transitional period. It was purchased by Kenneth Griffin, a billionaire in 2015 and the price was $300 Million USD.

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03. The Card Players

Price: $250 Million
Artist: Paul Cézanne
Location: Qatar
Year of Painting: 1895
Material: Oil painting on Canvas
Year sold: 2011
Owner: Royal Family of Qatar

expensive paintings

The Card Players

This is a Series of 5 paintings where the other 4 are now in Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Courtauld, the Barnes Foundation and in the Musée d’Orsay. And this one was sold to the Royal Family of Qatar in 2011. 

The painting shows two scholars in a bending position carefully playing cards. This very painting renders the period of mid-19th century. There is a painting of card players by one of the Le Nain brothers, which hangs in an Aix-en-Provence museum near the home of Cézanne’s is widely reported as an inspiration for Cézanne’s works. 

In Cézanne’s family estate, some of the local farm hands have worked. One of them is Jas de Bouffan who has served as models for the paintings.

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04. Nafea Faa Ipoipo

Price: $210 Million
Artist: Paul Gaugain
Location: Qatar
Year of Painting: 1892
Material: Oil on Canvas
Dimension: 30*40 in
Year sold: 2015
Owner: Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani

most expensive painting in the world

Nafea Faa Ipoipo

The actual meaning of the name of the painting is “When will you marry?” The name is funny though. Gaugain spent some of the time of his life in Tahiti in 1892 and this painting is entirely his depiction of Tahiti experiences. Gauguin became a part of the local community and married Teha’amana, a young girl who was most likely the model for his paintings. In this oil Painting two Tahitian girls are seen with their traditional outfits. The Royal family of Qatar purchased this piece in 2015 spending $210 million USD. Until June 28, 2015, the painting was on display at the Fondation Beyeler in Riehen.

05. Number 17a’ By

Price: $200 Million
Artist: JACKSON Pollock
Location: Private
Year of Painting: 1948
Material: Oil painting on Fibreboard
Year sold: 2015
Owner: Kenneth C. Griffin

most expensive painting in the world

Number 17a’ By

Unlike Pollocks drip painting series this one has got the honour of one of the most expensive paintings. The painting is a drip painting created by splattering paint onto a horizontal surface with oil paint on fiberboard. 

An ardent art collector Kenneth Griffin bought this masterpiece from David Geffen with the amount of $200 million USD. It was painted a year after Jackson Pollock’s drip technique was implemented. American artist Pollock is known as an absurd expressionist. This painting is the best example of his absurd series. The piece was featured in the August 1949 issue of Life, which launched Jackson Pollock’s career.

06. No. 6 Violet, Green and Red

Price: $186 Million
Artist: Mark Rothko
Location: Private
Year of Painting: 1951
Material: Oil painting on Canvas
Year sold: 2014
Owner: Dmitry Rybolovlev

expensive paintings

No. 6 Violet, Green and Red

Beauty of the thing lies in the eyes of the beholder and this is the perfect example of this Painting. The painting has only three shades of colour Violet green and red with a hazy tint. But still it is considered as the sixth most expensive painting in the world.

Dimitry Rybolovlev bought this painting from a Swiss dealer Bouvier, actually later he came to know that Bouvier was not a dealer rather bought this with half of the selling price. Later he fell into his own trap by international lawsuit.

07. Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

Price: $180 Million
Artist: Rembrandt van Rijn
Dimension: 83*53 in
Location: Paris and Amsterdam
Year of Painting: 1634
Material: Oil painting on Canvas
Year sold: 2016
Owner: Rijksmuseum and the Louvre

most expensive painting in the world

Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit

This is the first full length portrait by Rembrandt. It is a High class newly married couples pair portrait. The couple were Soolmans and Coppir, married in 1634 and they are representing Dutch wedding. 

Even though the subjects were painted separately, these two have often been exhibited together in numerous collections in Amsterdam and Paris. They are also significant in Rembrandt’s oeuvre for their scale.

Moreover, there is an interesting fact, that is, the subjects are depicted in full length. Marten Soolmans and his wife Oopjen Coppit are dressed as if they were newlyweds from Amsterdam which is the main subject of the portrait.This one was bought jointly by the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre Museum, and they always display this pair of Paintings, keeping them aside.

08. Le Rêve (Picasso)

Price: $206.5 Million
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Location: Private collection of ‎Steven A. Cohen
Year of painting: 1932
Materials: Oil on canvas
Dimension: 130 cm × 97 cm (51 in × 38 in)
Year Sold: 2013
Owner: Steven Cohen

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Le Rêve (Picasso)

Thérèse Walter, the painter’s lover, is his inspiration in this libidinous portrait of physical intimacy and expression. Marie-Thérèse Walter who is Picasso’s 22-year-old mistress is depicted in romantic reverie in Le Rêve, a painting by the 50-year-old Picasso. 

Her hands resemble a lady’s private part, while half of her head resembles a man’s. With its simplified shapes, lush colors, and dancing patterns, it’s a primitive and blissful art.

Several times, Le Rêve has made the news. After securing a $139 million sale to collector Steven Cohen in 2006, Steve Wynn, the property’s previous owner, pushed it through. Cohen eventually purchased Le Rêve for $155 million in 2013 after a costly renovation and insurance claim.

09. Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Price: $150 Million
Artist: Gustav Klimt
Location: Private collection
Year of painting: 1912
Materials: Oil on canvas
Dimension: 190 cm × 120 cm (75 in × 47 in)
Year Sold: 2006
Owner: Oprah Winfrey

Most Expensive Paintings in the World

Adele Bloch-Bauer II

Gustav Klimt only painted Adele Bloch-portrait Bauer’s twice who is an affluent Vienna socialite and Klimt’s patron as well as his close associate; Klimt illustrates Adele Bloch-Bauer II as a vertical tower in the core of the composition. 

She is adorned in a black hat and a plain off-white dress with a blue sash and shrug, with darker designs on the lower half of the dress. She stands on a purple-patterned floor next to a vibrant paneled background with pinks and greens and floral motifs in the central portion, as well as an orie.

Adele’s portraits were bought in a trial in January 2006 by Maria Altmann, who is Adele’s husband’s niece, after the Nazis stole them during World War II. Afterward, Oprah Winfrey purchased it for $88 million. And finally, in 2016, Oprah sold the masterpiece for $150 million to an anonymous Chinese bidder.

10. Mona Lisa

Price: $100 Million (equivalent to $650 million in 2018)
Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Location: The Louvre Museum, Paris
Year of painting: 1503
Materials: Oil on poplar panel
Dimension: 77 cm × 53 cm (30 in × 21 in)
Year Sold: 1513
Owner: The Louvre Museum

Most Expensive Paintings in the World

Mona Lisa

This is an oil painting that portrays on a white Lombardy poplar wall which is considered to be the picture of Italian noblewoman Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo. 

The painting portrays a woman in a half-length portrait against a distant  landscape. It has been on permanent display at the Louvre in Paris since 1797. King Francis I of France purchased the painting at Louvre and now it is owned by the French Republic. 

The Mona Lisa is regarded as one of the most desirable paintings in the whole world. With a US$100 million appraisal in 1962 (approximately equal to $660 million in 2019), it broke the Record for the highest insurance valuation in history.

11. The Scream

Price: $119.9 Million
Artist: Edvard Munch
Location: National Gallery and Munch Museum, Oslo, Norway
Year of painting: 1893
Materials: Oil, tempera, pastel, and crayon on cardboard
Dimension: 91 cm × 73.5 cm (36 in × 28.9 in)
Year Sold: 2012
Owner: Edvard Munch

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
The Scream

Between 1893 and 1910, Munch painted four versions of ‘The Scream,’ portraying a skeleton individual on a bridge holding his face while screaming in pain.’ 

Der Schrei der Natur’ is the German title of the painting meaning ‘The Scream of Nature’. This German name has also been given by the Norwegian artist and impressionist, Edvard Munch, and Skrik is the Norwegian title (Shriek).

The anxiety and terror Munch felt while walking with his two friends provided him the inspiration for “The Scream.” The tranquil atmosphere he had hoped to witness was abruptly disrupted by sky changes triggered by the setting sun. 

The agonized face of the artist has become one of the most prominent figures of art, symbolizing the terror and uncertainty of the human psyche.

12. Claude Monet’s Meules

Price: $110.7 million
Artist: Claude Monet
Location: Art Institute of Chicago
Year of painting: 1990-91
Materials: Oil on canvas
Dimension: 60 cm × 100 cm (​23 58 in × ​39 38 in)
Year Sold:
Owner: Chicago socialites

Most Expensive Paintings in the World
Claude Monet’s Meules

The artwork was created in 1890 as part of a series called Meules (Haystacks), which depicted rural scenes from Monet’s hometown in Normandy, France. “Meules” portrays “massive conical structures” made of wheat or grain that are stacked to allow the stalks to dry and resist mold. 

According to the auction house’s explanation of the painting, the stacks represent stores for wheat and grain, despite the widespread misconception that they were for hay.

The series consists of 25 paintings; the majority of which are in the collections of foreign art galleries. The historic painting was previously put up for sale in 1986 for just 2.5 million dollars. At a recent Sotheby’s auction, this oil canvas painting sold for a record-breaking USD 110.7 million.

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