What Are the World’s Most Expensive Paintings?

by Guest Author on December 18, 2012


"The Scream" By Edvard Munch

“The Scream” By Edvard Munch

The classic masterpiece “The Scream” by Edvard Munch is a recognizable part of our popular culture.

In the painting, a figure is shown holding their hands up to the side of their face and screaming with their mouth wide open while standing on a wooden walkway. The swirling colours in the background seem to add to the anguish and distress. The image has been parodied in popular culture many times and has been reproduced on everything from posters to t-shirts to coffee mugs.

Now the painting has had the distinction of becoming one of the highest prices works of art in history. One of four original versions by the Norwegian painter has been auctioned off at a record-breaking £74 million.

The most famous paintings in the world are usually kept at museums. They are rarely sold and they are generally considered priceless. However, some works of art are owned in private collections and auctioned off. To own a work of art of this significant is very prestigious, so wealthy art collectors compete for the privilege and are willing to bid millions of pounds to hang the artwork in their own personal collection.

The price was determined after a 12 minute bidding war at the Impressionist and Modern Art Evening Sale at Sotheby’s in New York. This version of “The Scream” was owned by a Norwegian businessman whose father was a friend of the artist. The painting was originally created in 1885 and it is the only one of the four original versions which has a frame hand-painted by the artist himself. It also includes a poem by Munch which explains the meaning and the inspiration behind the painting.

The painting is the “defining image” of the Expressionist Art movement and in the past it has been the target of several high profile art thefts. A 1910 version of the painting was stolen from the Munch museum by masked gunmen in 2004.

Cezanne’s Card Players Break the Scream Record

Of course, the record created by the sale of “The Scream” didn’t last for very long and there has already been another painting which has sold for even more. “The Card Players” by Paul

"The Card Players" By Paul Cezanne

“The Card Players” By Paul Cezanne

Cezanne was sold for an amazing £159 million. This painting is considered to be one of the most important examples of Cezanne’s work during the 1890s and a prelude to his final years.

Before these two paintings, the most expensive artwork to ever be sold at auction was a painting entitled “Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust” by Picasso. This painting was purchased at Christie’s in New York in May 2010 for a total of £66.4 million.

The Other Most Expensive Paintings in the World

The scream is the most expensive painting ever to be sold, but what are some of the other priciest paintings? There have been several great works of art which have told for tens of millions of pounds to the highest bidder in art auctions all over the world.

Here are a few of the most expensive paintings ever sold in the world:

  • “Boy With a Pipe (The Young Apprentice)” – by Pablo Picasso – £64.3 million
  • “Massacre of the Innocents” – by Peter Paul Rubens – £49.4 million
  • “Bal Du Moulin De La Gallete” – by Pierre-Auguste Renior – £48.3 million
  • “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II” – by Gustav Klimt – £54.3 million
  • “Dora Maar Au Chat” – by Pablo Picasso – £58.8 million
  • “Le Bassin Aux Nympheas” – by Claude Monet – £49.7 million
  • “Portrait of Dr Gachet” by Vincent Van Gogh – £51 million

These are just a few examples of some of the most expensive artworks ever sold in the history of the world.

When you see some of the prices that art collectors have paid for the most expensive paintings in the world, it comes as no surprise that they will have invested heavily in art insurance.

Author Bio

Charlotte Rivington loves blogging about Prestigious Technology, Food and Drink covering a range of luxurious topics from high-end fashion to art insurance. She likes to shop, discovering products and eating healthily.

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