20 Most Expensive Contemporary Art

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The most expensive paintings are used in the house’s galleries as well as museums of the United State and Europe. Do you like painting images of decorating your house?

The value of a painting depends on its age as well as the artist behind it. Sometimes we can see that some paintings look too ordinary for the eyes but expensive. The main reason is that they are painted by the world’s famous artists such as Vincent Van and Pablo Picasso.

Therefore, painting is a hobby for every artist in the world. Valuable paintings encourage willing to spend millions when they get auctioned off. Here is a list of the 20 most expensive contemporary art in history.

Here Are 20 Most Expensive Contemporary Art

1. Acrobat and Young Harlequin

Acrobat and Young Harlequin Most Expensive Contemporary Art

In 1905, this painting was first featured in Action. The original price of the painting was $38.5 million but the Pablo Picasso’s expensive contemporary art painting was sold at 69.4 million.

In 1923, De Philosophy at Princeton University was sold by the heir of Roger Janssen to Mitsukoshi in 1988. This painting is now in the public domain in America.

2. Au Lapin Agile

Au Lapin Agile Most Expensive Contemporary Art

In 1904, the Au Lapin Agile was painted by Pablo Picasso. In 1989, it was sold by the daughter of Joan Whitney Payson to Walter H. With an original price of $70 million but it was sold more. On November 27, 1989, in Sotheby’s, New York, the auction took place for it.

3. Diana and Actaeon

Diana and Actaeon Most Expensive Contemporary Art

Titian is an Italian Renaissance master who made this painting. It was completed between 1556 and 1559 and widely considered among his greatest masterpieces.  It portrays the moment when the goddess Diana met Actaeon.

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The Duke of Sutherland conferred this painting to the national galleries of Scotland and the National Gallery in London in 2009. The adjustable price was $70.6 million.

4. Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I)

Green Car Crash (Green Burning Car I) Most Expensive Contemporary Art

Green Car Crash was the most important scenery commonly known as the Green Buring Car I.

It was painted by Andy Warhol in 1963 and this informative painting was sold on May 16, 2007, to Philip Niarchos. Basically, the Greem car crash was real-valued at $71.7 million, unfortunately, it was sold by $73.7 million.

5. Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers Most Expensive Contemporary Art

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers was one of the most beautiful paintings, painted by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh in 1888. It was the second expensive contemporary art by the Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh executed with sunflowers as the subject. 

Later, this painting was sold by the daughter in law of Chester Beatty to Yasuo Goto in 1987. The original price was $39 million but it was sold for $74.5 million which almost double.

6. White Center (Yellow, Pink, and Lavender on Rose)

White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) contemporary art
Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers

Mark Rothko, who was the most famous painter at that time, painted this beautiful painting. It was sold by David Rockefeller in 2007 to the Royal Family of Qatar.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa at-Thani purchased this one for $74.9 million but the original price was $72.8 million. The entire work of this painting was completed in 1950 and then it is considered as part of the painter’s signature multiform painting style.

7. Curtain, Jug, and Fruitbowl

Curtain, Jug and Fruitbowl contemporary art
Curtain, Jug and Fruit Bowl – Paul Cezanne’s oil painting www.opaintings.com

Paul Cezanne painted this beautiful painting in 1894. The original name of this painting was Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier and it was more commonly known as curtain, jug, and Fruitbowl.

Firstly, this painting was auctioned off on May 10, 1999, at Sotheby’s, New York. An unknown buyer bought this famous painting for $77.4 million.

8. Water Lily Pond

Water Lily Pond contemporary art

Who doesn’t like natural painting? Water Lily Pond was painted by a famous  French painter Claude Monet.

On July 4, 2008, this beautiful painting was only put on the auction block. It was deemed as the oil canvas painting. It was sold for $79.7million, to J. Irwin as well as Xenia S. Miller at Sotheby’s New York for.

9. Self Portrait of Picasso

Self Portrait of Picasso contemporary art

In 1901, this beautiful painting was painted by the image of the painter himself. Later, it was ranked as the second most popular painting at that time.

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And then Picasso was auctioned and has an adaptable value of $90.5 million but it sold for $47.9 million on May 9, 1989, by Wendell Cherry to Stavros Niarchos at Sotheby’s New York.

10. A Wheatfield with Cypresses

A Wheatfield with Cypresses contemporary art

Vincent Van Gogh effected this painting in 1889,  as the part of the Wheat Field Series at the Saint Paul De Mausole mental asylum in Arles, France (where Gogh was momentarily a patient).

This amazing looking painting was sold by the son of Emil Georg Bührle to Walter H. Annenberg for $84.1 million in 1993.

11. False Start

False Start contemporary artists

At the begging of the time, False start a painting by Jasper Johns. It was put on a private building via Richard Gray on October 12, 2006.

The complete version of this painting was published in 1959 and later the expensive contemporary art was sold by David Geffen to Kenneth C. Griffin for $84.6 million. Sold price was $4.6 million higher than its real price of $80 million.

12. The Marriage of Pierrette

The Marriage of Pierrette contemporary artists

Les Noces de Pierrette is more generally known as The Marriage of Pierrette. This painting’s full version was published in 1905 during the artist’s “Blue Period”.

This time is known when Picasso suffered hunger and distress following the suicide of his friend Carlos Casagemas in 1901.

It was obtained by a famous art merchant named Josef Stansky in 1907. Unfortunately, it was occupied by Picasso’s son, Paulo Picasso between 1945 and 1962. In 1989, This amazing painting sold by Fredrik Roos to Tomonori Tsurumaki for $84.8 million.

13. Triptych, 1976

Triptych, 1976 contemporary artists

Do you like uncommon paintings? The triptych was oil as well as pastel canvas painting, painted by Francis Bacon in 1976. This amazing looking painting was divided into three parts each meaning 78*58 inch.

This painting was auctioned off on May 14, 200, at Sotheby’s, London and at the same time the Mouex family sold this painting to Roman for an adjustable price of $85.5 million.

14. Portrait of Adele Block Bauer II

Portrait of Adele Block Bauer II contemporary artists

In 1912, Gustav Klimt painted this amazing painting which ranked as the second most popular painting at that time.

On the other hand, Klimt completed this one with Adele Block Bauer, the wife of Ferdinand block Bauer as his main subject. It was put on the auction block at Christie’s auction house. In the end, this beautiful painting was sold for $88 million.

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15. Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh 
contemporary art fun facts

This painting is one of the dozen of self-portraits. It was painted by Vincent Van Gogh which was the only one that survived.

This beautiful painting depicts the face of the artist as it appeared in a mirror. The completed painting was published in 1886 and sold for $93.5 million.

16. Dora Maar with Cat

Dora Maar with Cat 
contemporary art fun facts

Dora Maar with Cat was a fantastic painting and known as the Dora Maar a Chat. This uncommon face was painted by Pablo Picasso in 1941.

This beautiful painting represents the lover of the painter named Dora Maar, seated on a chair while holding a baby cat on her shoulders. It was only 50.5” by 37.5″ the painting and sold for $95,216,000 in 2006.

17. Massacre of the Innocents

Massacre of the Innocents 
contemporary art fun facts

The Massacre of the Innocents was known as the ancient historical painting. It was painted by a famous artist Peter Paul Rubens as well as portrays the Massacre of the innocents of Bethlehem in the book of Matthew of Holy Bible.

It was completely painted in 1611. Firstly, this expensive contemporary art was auctioned off on July 10, 2002, at Sotheby’s London, at that time an Austrian family sold it to Kenneth Thomson for an adjusting price of $99.7 million.

18. Irises

contemporary art fun facts

This Vincent Van Gogh painting was painted by the son of Joan Whitney Payson to Alan Bond in an auction held at Sotheby’s New York on November 11, 1987. This painting was completed in 1889 and was sold for $101.2 million.

19. Portrait of Joseph Roulin

Portrait of Joseph Roulin 
contemporary art fun facts

It is another popular painting by Vincent Van Gogh. This beautiful painting was completed in 1889 and was sold to the Museum of Modern Art in New York for an adjustable price of  $111 million which was more than double its original price of $58 million.

20. Boy with a Pipe

Boy with a Pipe 
contemporary art fun facts

Boy with a Pipe was painted by Pavlo Picasso in 1950. The full version of this painting was completed during the rose period of Picasso while he was in Paris, France. 

It depicts a Persian lad wearing a garland and holding a pipe. In 2004, this painting was sold by the Greentree Foundation or Whitney Family for $104 million but presently it has an estimated value of $129 million.

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A journalist who won several awards, I have held the main editorial positions in The World Press and Pow Jones. A former student of literature, art study and art history with a deep knowledge of finance and business work, I explore global art markets and cultural analysis. My reviews of major museum and gallery openings have been published in major newspapers and media platforms around the world.

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