Top 10 most expensive paintings in the world

The price of art has gone insane due to rich investors seeing famous names as bankable. Thankfully, the majority of the world’s most famous paintings are owned by museums, so we still get to see them and faceless investors don’t get to hide them in private collections. Artworks such as the Mona Lisa, on permanent display at The Louvre museum in Paris, are considered priceless. However, she was insured in 1962 for the modern day equivalent of $780 million (US). Putting the priceless aside, below is a list of the highest known prices paid for paintings. The sale prices are in US dollars and inflation adjusted.

10. Three Studies of Lucian Freud by Francis Bacon

$144.2 million


9. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh

$148.9 million


8. Le Rêve by Pablo Picasso 

$156.9 million


7. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt 

$157.9 million


6. Woman III by Willem de Kooning

$160.9 million


5. No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock

$163.8 million


4. Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”) by Pablo Picasso

$179.4 million


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

$186 million

No 6 Violet Green and Red

2. The Card Players by Paul Cézanne

approx. $272 million (exact price unknown)


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

approx $300 million (exact price unknown)


If you’d like to buy some more affordable art, check out Bluethumb! Better yet, subscribe to receive our free newsletter and discover contemporary Australian artists.

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