The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter
Everything you need to live well

Five World’s Most Expensive Paintings

By Chidera Muoka 13 August 2017   |   6:30 am

To a pair of untrained eyes, a multimillion dollar painting might just be another barely-there piece meant to fill a void in a house’s interior decor. But for art lovers, even a bland-looking piece might just be the right investment. In his recent album 4:44, Jay-Z raps, “I bought some artwork for one million/Two years later, that s*** worth two million/ few years later, that s*** worth eight million/I can’t wait to give this s*** to my children.”

Paul Gauguin: Nafea Faa Ipoipo
(When Will You Marry?)
$300 million

101.5 x 77.5 cm; Öl auf Leinwand; Inv. Dep 105

Sold to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, in February 2015 for $300 million at a private auction, Nafea Faa Ipoipo was painted in 1892 by French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin.
The painting, depicting two women among a colourful landscape was on loan to the Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland for nearly a half-century before it was sold privately by the family of Rudolf Staechelin to Al-Thani.

Paul Cezanne: The Card Players
$250 million

Card Players-Paul Cezanne

Qatar’s Royal Family valued Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players so much that they acquired the painting in 2011 for $250 million. Considered to be the most outstanding work by the French post-impressionist artist, The Card Players is a series of five oil paintings created during Cézanne’s final period in the early 1890s. But the $250 million paid by the Qataris could only get them just one of the five paintings.

Mark Rothko: No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)
$186 million

Mark Rothko No. 6

While Mark Rothko’s N0. 6 might appear totally unalluring to a layman, that did not stop Dmitry Rybolovlev from buying it for $186 million at a private auction in 2014. Painted in 1951 by the Russian-American Abstract expressionist, No. 6 is a rectangular painting consisting of violet, green and red delineated by uneven hazy shades.

Rembrandt: Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit
$180 million

Rembrandt – Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen

As a pair of paintings, a lot of art lovers agree that Portrait of Marten Soolmans and Portrait of Oopjen Coppit, two full-length wedding portraits created by Dutch painter Rembrandt should be displayed together because they complement each other and for the fact that they were created by Rembrandt in 1634 on the occasion of the wedding of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit.
The paintings belonged to the Rothschild family until the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre jointly purchased these two works for approximately $180 million in 2015 for display at their respective locations in Amsterdam and Paris.

Pablo Picasso: Les Femmes D’Alger (Version ‘O’)
$179.3 million

picasso-femmes-d-alger

Enigmatic Spanish cubist artist Pablo Picasso painted one of his masterpieces, Les Femmes D’Alger fifteen times before he settled for Version O in 1955.
The painting was sold for $179.3 by the auction house Christie’s New York in 2015, though it had a pre-sale valuation of $140 million. Though the identity of the buyer was not revealed, many art critics say it was acquired, once again, by a Qatari; this time by a former Qatari prime minister, Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.


In this article:
Painting


You may also like