1. Pablo Picasso’s Garçon à la Pipe ($ 104,100,000)
Picasso painted the Garçon à la Pipe during the Rose Period, at which time he was working a lot with cheerful pink and orange colours. It is an oil on canvas painting and measures 100 x 81.3 cms which is slightly more than 39 x 32 inches. It depicts a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand.
The above mentioned record price was paid during an auction held at Sotheby’s in New York on the 4th of May 2004. It was indeed a surprise. The painting may be aesthetically pleasing but isn’t in the Cubist style which Picasso was famous for. A lot of experts even feel that the painting fetched the record price only because of the artists name rather than because of the quality of the painting.
2. Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet ($ 82,500,000)
This painting of the impressionism master from Holland, Vincent Van Gogh, gained worldwide fame when it was purchased during an auction held at Christie’s in New York for the above mentioned price by a Japanese businessman by the name of Ryoei Saito. It is a fact that Saito wanted to be cremated with the painting when he died in 1996 but that obviously did not happen.
There were actually a couple of versions of this portrait that were painted by Vincent Van Gogh. The other version of the painting which has a different colour scheme is on display in Paris at the Musée d’Orsay.
3. Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Au Moulin de la Galette ($ 78,000,000)
This is a painting from 1876 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the French painter. It was sold on the 17th of May 1990 at Sotheby’s in New York for the above mentioned amount. This painting too was purchased by Japanese businessmen Ryoei Saito along with the Dr. Gachet portrait.
4. Peter Paul Rubens’ Massacre of the Innocents ($ 76,700,000)
This painting was painted by Peter Paul Rubens in the year 1611. It is the only painting in this list which wasn’t painted in either the 19th or the 20th century. It was sold in 2002 for the sum mentioned above the 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet, Kenneth Thomson at a Sotheby’s auction.
5. Vincent Van Gogh’s Portrait de l’Artiste sans Barbe ($ 71,500,000)
The English translation of the name of this painting would read, “Self-portrait without beard.” It is one among quite a few self portraits by Vincent Van Gogh the Dutch master painter. It was painted in September 1889 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. It is an oil on canvas painting and measures 16″ x 13″ or 40 cm x 31 cm.
The painting was painted by Van Gogh immediately after he shaved. It is an extremely uncommon painting simply because all his other self portraits show him along with his beard. That is what allowed this self portrait to join the list of expensive paintings in the world. It was sold in New York in 1998 for $
6. Paul Cézanne’s Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier ($ 60,500,000)
This painting was painted by Cézanne around 1893-1894 and sold for over $ 60 million on the 10th of May 1999 in New York at Sotheby’s. It was sold the “The Whitneys.” Whitney was born into 1 of the wealthiest families in America at the time. He was a publisher, Hollywood film producer, philanthropist and venture capitalist.
7. Pablo Picasso’s Femme aux Bras Croisés ($ 55,000,000)
This painting was painted in 1901 and is part of the Blue Period in Picasso’s life. It was a very sad and dark period in his life. The painting shows a woman having her arms crossed who is staring at an endless nothing. You can clearly see the beautiful blue tones like most of the paintings Picasso painted during this period.
Femme aux Bras Croisés sold for $ 55 million on the 8th of November 2000 at Christie’s in New York. So you see Picasso has 4 paintings in the top 10 on his own. He is undoubtedly the most expensive painter in the world.
8. Vincent Van Gogh’s Irises ($ 53,900,000)
Van Gogh too has three paintings in this list and that proves him as a great creator of expensive paintings as well. It was painted by him in 1889 at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France’s Saint Paul-de-Mausole. That was only a year before he died. It became the most expensive painting ever to be sold in 1987 when it was purchased by Alan Bond for $ 53.9 million.
9. Pablo Picasso’s Les Noces de Pierrette ($ 51,670,000)
This painting too was painted during Picasso’s Blue Period. During this period Picasso went through many problems including depression and poverty. It was sold to a rich businessman from China for over $ 51 million on the 30th of November 1989 in Paris, France at the Binoche et Godeau.
10. Pablo Picasso’s Femme Assise Dans Un Jardin ($ 49,500,000)
This is the only painting in this list by Picasso which is in his famous Cubism style. He painted in the year 1938 which was a very short time before the second World War started. It is a painting of Dora Maar, 1 of his mistresses.
This painting was sold on the 10th of November 1999 for $ 49.5 million at a Sotheby’s auction in New York. It was a very hectic auction as there were 3 anonymous bidders who were trying to purchase the painting over the phone.