At The Old State, we love history, beautiful design, craftsmanship, beautiful materials and things created from scratch by hand. And nothing includes all of the above with as much intensity as original masterpiece oil paintings. And the best of the best celebrate the creative process and the imagination in all its glory! So with that being said, let's go shopping through the world's most valuable masterpieces in oil.
The following most expensive paintings ever sold are an unusual lot. There's a little bit of everything here, and Picasso takes the prize for having the most in the list with three. But he does not take the top prize. Gustav Klimt owns that honor. However, there is some speculation that Jackson Pollack's "No. 5, 1948" painting was sold privately for $140 million....which would trump number 1 in the list below. But the list below includes all confirmed auction or other verifiable sales, and the top prize went for $135 million for Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele-Bloch Bauer" from 1907.
Imagine 135 one million dollar houses in a row, and that's the price paid for a painting which you could pick up and carry with your bare hands from one side of the room to another. So in a world where rare objects are celebrated, oil paintings take the prize for being the most valuable items on the planet.
But one thing is for sure, the list below does NOT include the most valuable art object ever made. That prize would undoubtedly go to the "Mona Lisa" which now hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris. If it were ever sold, it is believed it would bring well over $500 million!! But don't hold your breath, because it is arguably the #1 most visited object on earth and will probably remain safely ensconced in its bullet proof glass case in Paris for the rest of time.....for all to see.
1. "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer" by Gustav Klimt sold for $135 million in 2006 by cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder. It hangs in the Galerie Neue in New York City.
2. "Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur ("Nude, Green Leaves and Bust") by Pablo Picasso sold for $106 million in May of 2010 at Christie's.
3. "Garcon a la Pipe" by Pablo Picasso sold for $104 million in May of 2004 at Sotheby's.
4. "Dora Maar with Cat" by Pablo Picasso sold for $95 million in May of 2006 at Sotheby's.
5. "Portrait of Dr. Gachet" by Vincent van Gogh sold for $82 million at Christie's in New York.
6. "Le Bassin Aux Nympheas" by Claude Monet fetched $80 million in June of 2008 at Christie's.
7. "Bal Au Moulin de la Galette" by Pierre-Auguste Renoir sold for $78 million in May of 1990 to Ryoei Saito.
8. "Massacre of the Innocents" by Peter Paul Rubens sold for $76 million at a 2002 Sotheby's auction.
9. "Portrait of de l'Artiste sans Barbe" by Vincent van Gogh brought $71 million in a 1998 New York art auction.
10. "Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier" by Paul Cezanne is the last on the list and brought $61 million in 1999 at Sotheby's in New York.
Travis McElroy MANAGING PARTNER