Savior of the World (1500) – Leonardo da Vinci – 507 million
The Savior of the World is one of the most expensive paintings in the world that has changed hands through a sale.
At Christie’s in New York in 2016, during a contemporary art event, Leonardo da Vinci’s The Savior of the World turned into one of the most expensive paintings for sale. Its value was $450 million at the end of nineteen minutes of trading.
Later it turned out that the prince of Saudi Arabia became the winner of the auction. The painting depicts Christ holding a ball in one hand and forming the sign of the cross with the other. For many years, it was considered another artistic copy of the lost da Vinci painting. However, after its restoration in 2006, many of the notable techniques characteristics of the master’s work became clear, and it was again attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.
One of the most expensive paintings for sale was exhibited at the National Gallery in London for 5 years before it was put up for auction. Despite the notoriety that the painting has received as the most expensive work of art in the world, many scholars still doubt whether it was actually painted by da Vinci’s hand.
The most expensive work of art in the world has increased its value due to inflation to 507 million dollars.
The Card Players (1892) – Paul Cezanne – 307 million
This world-famous oil painting is one of five created by Paul Cezanne throughout his career, which are variations on the same theme: men sitting at a table and playing cards. Most of the paintings in this series are now on display in museums around the world such as the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
One of the most expensive paintings for sale was sold privately in 2011 for $250 million. Adjusted for inflation, the expensive piece now costs $307 million.
Cezanne studied those sitting at the table in great detail. Each version differed in the number of people seated, the location of the game, and even the size of the canvases. The painting was considered the most expensive paintings for sale when it was bought by the royal family of Qatar.
Water Serpents II (1904-1907) – Gustav Klimt – 222 million
“Water Serpents II”, also commonly known as “Wasserschlangen II”, is an outstanding work of art in oils by Gustav Klimt, completed by the master in 1907. It was created after his other work on the same theme “Water Serpents I”. In both most expensive painting, Klimt focuses on the sensual nature of the female form and the relationship between members of the same sex.
This oil painting has a glorious and long history. It was captured by the invading Nazi forces during World War II. More recently, the painting has been the subject of controversy after a record sale in 2013. It is the most expensive painting for sale by Klimt. It is currently one of the top five most expensive pieces in the world.
Number 17A (1948) – Jackson Pollock – 233 million
Abstract expressionist work by Jackson Pollock “Number 17A” was painted in 1948. Hedge fund investor Kenneth S. Griffin bought it from David Geffen in September 2015 for $200 million, making it one of the expensive paintings for sale at the time, and then loaned it to the Art Institute of Chicago.
It is currently in the top five most expensive paintings ever sold in the world, with an inflation-adjusted price of $233 million.
This famous painting is a drip painting, which is done by spraying paint on a horizontally laid oil paint surface on a fibreboard. The author painted it a year after Pollock’s drip method was presented to the public. The painting was published in the August 1949 issue of Life magazine, which helped launch his career as an artist.
No. 6 (purple, green and red) (1951) – Mark Rothko–127 million
Abstract oil painting No. 6 (“Violet, Green and Red”) was painted in 1951 by the Latvian-American artist Mark Rothko. It was sold privately in 2014 for approximately $217 million. The painting also entered the top seven most expensive abstract art.