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Thursday, July 31, 2014


Photo Gallery Archive

  • Sotheby's employees pose with Norwegian artist Edvard Munch's 1895 pastel-on-board version of "The Scream," which went up for auction in London on May 2.
  • The painting broke auction records by selling for almost $120 million.
  • The most expensive painting ever sold to date is Paul Cezanne's "The Card Players" (1890-92), which was sold by a private owner to Qatar for $250 million last year. 
  • Austrian Gustav Klimt is another artist whose work sells for huge amounts of money. His 1907 painting "Adele Bloch-Bauer I" sold for $135 million in 2006.
  • Another portrait of the same woman "Adele Blocher-Bauer II" was also sold in 2006 for nearly $90 million.
  • Pablo Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" (1932) held the previous auction record. It was sold at Christie's in New York for more than $106 million in 2010. 
  • Not surprisingly for such a high-profile artist, many of Pablo Picasso's works appear on lists of most expensive paintings. His "Dora Maar au chat" fetched more than $95 million at Sotheby's in 2006.
  • Picasso's early work "Garcon a la Pipe" (1905) sold for $104 million in 2004. (The painting itself cost $93 million, but the auctioneer, Sotheby's, was also paid a commission of $11 million.)
  • Andy Warhol's "Eight Elvises" (1963) was reportedly sold to a private buyer for $100 million in 2009.
  • Jackson Pollock's abstract painting "No.5" (1948) is said to be the second-most expensive painting ever sold. It reportedly exchanged hands in 2006 for $140 million. 
  • Dutch painter Willem de Kooning's "Woman III" (1963) is thought to be the third-most expensive painting ever sold. It was reportedly bought by American hedge fund manager Steve A. Cohen for more than $137 million in 2006.
  • London's National Gallery and the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh raised $72 million earlier this year to acquire Titian's "Diana and Callisto

The World's Most Expensive Paintings

Published 3 May 2012

Norwegian painter Edvard Munch's "The Scream" made headlines this week when it became the most expensive painting ever auctioned. RFE/RL looks at some of the other masterpieces that have sold for astronomical sums.