The Most Expensive Paintings in the World

The world is full of incredible artworks, from priceless pieces in museums and art galleries to more affordable works by local artists. Owning an expensive piece of art has long been seen as a status symbol amongst the rich and famous, although many works come with eye watering price tags that are impossibly out of reach for the general public. Private collectors tend to buy most of their artwork at auction, and it’s here that paintings can reach dizzying prices as collectors attempt to outbid each other. From a work by the painter of arguably the most famous painting in the world, to an abstract masterpiece, see our list below for some of the most expensive paintings to be sold around the world.

The Card Players, Paul Cézanne

Painted in 1892/3, Cézanne’s Card Players is actually one of five paintings depicting local farmers from his estate playing cards. Four of the paintings can be found on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the Musee D’Orsay, the Courtauld Institute and the Barnes Foundation, and the fifth was purchased by the State of Qatar for a whopping $250 million in 2011.

Number 17A, Jackson Pollock

One of the major figures in the abstract expressionist movement, Jackson Pollock is famous for his distinctive technique which involves pouring or splashing paint onto a horizontal surface. Number 17A was bought by hedge fund manager Kenneth C Griffin as part of a $500 million deal with another artwork back in 2015; Pollock’s work alone is valued at around $200 million.

Les Femmes d’Algers (Version O), Pablo Picasso

Version O’ is the last of 15 versions of this painting by Picasso, and he began the series as a tribute to the style of Henri Matisse, six weeks after his death. Painted in 1955, the piece was sold at famous auction house Christie’s in 2015. It was bought by former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani for $179.4 million.

Salvator Mundi, Leonardo da Vinci

The honour of the most expensive painting ever sold to date goes to Leonardo da Vinci, the artist behind the iconic Mona Lisa. Salvator Mundi is da Vinci’s impression of Jesus, and it sold for an astounding $450 million at Christie’s auction house in New York in 2017. It remains the only da Vinci painting in private hands, and although some have questioned its authenticity, many scholars believe it is the work of the master himself.

While you may not own any artwork as expensive and rare as the ones above, it’s still important to protect your paintings during a house move. If you’re looking for the experts in fine art transportation, get in touch with Arrowpak International. We have decades of knowledge and experience handling the transportation of art and antiques, so you can rest assured that your artwork will reach your new home in one piece. For more information or to discuss your requirements, give us a call today or visit our website.

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