10 Most Expensive Paintings Ever Sold

On November 15, 2017, a 500-year-old painting known as “Salvator Mundi” alleged to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci became the most expensive painting ever sold.

The following are the 10 most expensive paintings ever sold in ascending order. Note that price adjustments reflect the sale price as estimated with today’s dollar value, not to be confused with what the painting might sell for today.

10. Amedeo Modigliani — “Nu couché” (1918)

Amedeo Modigliani - Nu couche

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Unedited nsfw version can be found here.

Christie’s of New York sold Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché” to Chinese businessman Liu Yiqian in 2015.

Sale Price: $170.4 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $175.9 Million
Sale Date: November 9, 2015
Auction House: Christie’s, New York

9. Pablo Picasso — “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)” (1955)

Pablo Picasso - Les Femmes d'Alger (Version O)

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Former Qatar leader Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Mohammed bin Thani Al Thani took this Picasso home in 2015.

Sale Price: $179.4 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $185.2 Million
Sale Date: May 11, 2015
Auction House: Christie’s, New York

8. Rembrandt — “Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit” (1634)

Formerly owned by the Rothschild family, these two Rembrandts were purchased in part by the Louvre Museum and the Rijksmuseum in 2015.

Sale Price: $180 (€160M for pair) Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $186 Million
Sale Date: September 2015
Auction House: Private sale

7. Gustav Klimt — “Wasserschlangen II” (1904-07)

Sale Price: $183.8 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $193.1 Million
Sale Date: 2013
Auction House: Private sale

6. Mark Rothko — “No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)” (1951)

Interior of Mark Rothko Art Center

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Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev purchased this Rothko in 2014.

Sale Price: $186 (€140) Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $192 Million
Sale Date: August 2014
Auction House: Private sale via Yves Bouvier

5. Jackson Pollock — “Number 17A” (1948)

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Abstract American painter Jackson Pollack’s “Number 17A” was purchased by hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin in 2015.

Sale Price: $200 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $206 Million
Sale Date: September 2015
Auction House: Private sale

4. Paul Gauguin — “Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?)” (1892)

French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin’s “Nafea Faa Ipoipo” sold to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, sister of the ruling Emir of Qatar.

Sale Price: $210 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $217 Million
Sale Date: September 2014
Auction House: Private sale

3. Paul Cézann — “The Card Players” (1892/93)

One in a series of oil paintings, the Royal Family of Qatar bought this Cézann in 2011.

Sale Price: $250 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $272 Million
Sale Date: April 2011
Auction House: Private sale

2. Willem de Kooning — “Interchange” (1955)


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Until November of 2017, this painting topped the charts as the most expensive painting in the world. Willem de Kooning’s “Interchange” was sold to hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin in 2015 in a private sale.

Sale Price: $300 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $310 Million
Sale Date: September 2015
Auction House: Private sale

1. Leonardo da Vinci (attributed to) — “Salvator Mundi” (c.1500)

Salvador mundi. My own reproduction of Leonardo DaVinci painting.

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“Salvator Mundi” (Saviour of the World) by Leonardo da Vinci (circa 1505) sold for £341m in 2017 and is the most expensive painting ever sold. The painting depicts Christ with one hand held up, while the other other hand holds a glass sphere.

While it is hailed as “the last da Vinci,” experts are not fully convinced that da Vinci actually painted this piece.

However, auction house Christie’s claims it to be authentic, calling it “the greatest artistic rediscovery of the 20th Century”. On November 15, 2017 “Salvator Mundi” became the most expensive painting ever sold despite the controversy.

Sale Price: $450.3 Million
Sale Price Adjusted Today: $450.3 Million
Sale Date: November 15, 2017
Auction House: Christie’s, New York

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