Selling famous paintings by auction is an old tradition. But only after 1900s, people started to buy painting for over million dollars. Also auctions sold not only old master paintings but also new painters products. Also famous paintings are sold in history with private selling method. Today, paintings made before 1800 are mostly in museums and they don’t have any copyright. But especially famous painting made after 1800s have copyright and they are mostly selling by copyright holders. Museums rarely sell paintings and paintings like Mona Lisa is called as priceless. 100 million dollar price is known as a border for a highest painting sell category. How many paintings are sold over 100 million dollars?
Today, there are 15 paintings sold over 100 million dollars. The most expensive painting sold ever is The Card Players painting of Paul Cézanne. Post-Impressionist French painter made this famous painting in his final period between 1892/1893. There are five known paintings in the series. Painting series sold by George Embiricos to Royal Family of Qatar with the Private sale method. Definite price is not announced but auction house announced that price is between 250-300 million dollars. Some newspapers wrote the price as 254 million dollars with adjustment.
2nd most expensive painting is No. 5, 1948 of Jackson Pollock. Pollock made this painting in 1948. Painting is known as the symbol of abstract expressionist movement. Painting is made with oil on fiberboard method. It’s sold in 2006 to unknown buyer by David Geffen. Sale turnover is made by Sotheby’s private sale system and price is announced as $159.4 while original price is $140. It’s claimed that painting is sold to David Martinez but his attorneys didn’t accept it.
3rd most expensive painting sold ever is Woman III painting of abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. It’s a series of six paintings and Willem de Kooning painted them between 1951 and 1953. Paintings were shown in Iran before revolution but after 79 revolution, Iran didn’t accept to exhibit this painting so it’s sold to David Geffen. Then in 1996, David Geffen sold it to Steven A. Cohen and Larry Gagosian made sale turnover. Price is announced as $137.5 and adjusted price was $156.5.
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is on the 4th step of most expensive painting lists. Painting was made by Gustav Klimt in 1907. It’s originally 138 x 138 cm. Painting is known as one of the best examples of Jugendstil style. It’s sold by Christie’s private sell method to Ronald Lauder, Neue Galerie by Maria Altmann. Price was announced as $135 and adjusted price was $152.6.
Vincent Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet is known one of the most revered paintings in art society. Dr. Gachet is the doctor of Van Gogh in his last months. There are two versions of painting made in the same year. One version of painting is on a private collection today while other is exhibiting in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris. It’s sold by open public auction method in Christie’s, New York. Ryoei Saito bought it from Siegfried Kramarsky family in 1990. Price is announced as $82.5 and adjusted price was $146.5. It’s the most expensive painting sold in an open public auction.
Bal du moulin de la Galette is on the 5th rank. Painting is also known as “Dance at Le moulin de la Galette”. It’s known as one of the most famous paintings of Impressionism. Painting is about a classical Sunday afternoon of Montmartre, Paris. Painting is sold to Ryoei Saito by Betsey Whitney in the Sotheby’s, New York in 1990 with the $138.7 adjusted price.