What are the Most Expensive Paintings in the World (2022)

Last updated on March 3rd, 2022

What makes a painting expensive? The artist, the years the painting has endured, the artwork and the history behind it are all contributing factors. From the enigmatic Mona Lisa to the simple illustration of Paul Cézanne’s five-part series of Card Players. What makes a painting a true masterpiece worth millions can be quite complex to determine. If you are wondering what are the most expensive paintings in the world? Let us show you a brief list of some of the most expensive artwork in the world.

1. Mona Lisa ($860 Million)

When it comes to being expensive, the Mona Lisa easily tops the list. While the price tag associated with it is hard to calculate, considering it is deemed priceless; the estimated cost for the Mona Lisa is approximately $860 Million. The painting is on permanent display in France at the Louvre Museum in Paris and holds many mysteries in the way it was crafted by Leonardo da Vinci that has baffled researchers to this very day.

2. Salvator Mundi ($475.4 Million)

In November 2017, the Salvator Mundi grabbed $400 million at an auction in New York, with an additional $50.3 million paid in fees. Making Salvator Mundi the most expensive artwork to be auctioned in the world. The painting itself has been the subject of much debate, with questions about whether it is an original artwork of Leonardo da Vinci or whether he partially contributed to it. The painting also has a number of copies that were made by Leonardo’s students. While the painting was sold for 450.5 million, its estimated price when adjusted for inflation stands at $475.4 million.

3. Interchange ($328 Million)

Interchange is an abstract painting by Willem de Kooning. The Dutch-American painter completed the artwork in 1955, which was a move away from his usual artwork that depicted women, towards something rather different in the form of an urban landscape. The painting was sold for $300 million in 2015 to an American entrepreneur, Kenneth C. Griffin. The price of the painting when adjusted for inflation is estimated to be $328 million.

4. The Card Players ($288 Million)

The Card Players is a series of oil paintings by French artist Paul Cézanne. He produced 5 paintings in the series during the 1890s. One of these paintings was sold for $250 million to the Royal Family of Qatar during 2011. Making it one of the most expensive paintings to be ever sold. The painting’s price, when adjusted for inflation is estimated to be around $288 million.

5. Nafea Faa Ipoipo ($229 Million)

Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) stands as one of the most expensive paintings in the world. Nafea Faa Ipoipo is a painting by the French artist Paul Gauguin. The 1892 artwork was sold in 2015 to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani of the Royal Family of Qatar for approximately $210 million. The price when adjusted for inflation a few years later stands at an estimated $229 million.

Final Words

There are many other paintings that have fetched a high price tag, ranging from Number 17A by Jackson Pollock to Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt. There are at least 8 paintings in the world with an estimated price tag above $200 million and over 4 dozen paintings that have a value above $100 million. What makes the art truly unique or worth such an extravagant price tag is the subject of much debate. However, the criteria for buying artwork at such an extravagant price will perhaps remain as enigmatic as the paintings that have baffled the world for centuries.

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