Buying a painting costs a lot of money. A private collector can spend millions of dollars for a coveted painting. Find out more about the most expensive oil paintings in the world sold at auction houses or private sales. The list is ordered according to the inflation-adjusted value of the paintings and the prices indicated are the original prices when the paintings were sold.
1. The Card Players by Paul Cezanne ($259 million)
The Card Players was sold in 2011. It is a series of oil paintings by Paul Cezanne, a French post-Impressionist artist. The paintings show peasants in Provencal smoking pipes and playing cards, eyes cast downward, serious on the game at hand.
2. No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock ($140 million)
The 8′ by 4′ painting by American artist Jackson Pollock shows his “drip” technique, drizzling brown and yellow paint over the fiberboard to create a nest-like appearance. This was done at the height of the Abstract Expressionist Movement.
3. Woman III by Willem de Kooning ($137.5 million)
Woman III is one of a series of size paintings by Dutch-American abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning. The painting is of a woman, and measures 68′ by 48 1/2′. Displayed at the Tehran Museum of Art from late 70s to 1994, it was then traded to David Geffen in exchange for the remainder of the 16th century manuscript called the Tahmasbi Shahnameh.
4. Le Rêve by Pablo Picasso ($155 million)
Le Rêve is a painting by Pablo Picasso in 1932 depicting his young mistress. The painting was done during the time when Picasso painted distorted depictions using oversimplified outlines and bold colors.
5. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt ($135 million)
Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I is a painting by Gustav Klimt in 1907 that took three years to complete. Klimt was commissioned by a wealthy industrialist to paint the portrait and he used oil and gold on canvas that measured 54″ x 54″.
6. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh ($82.5 million)
This 1890 painting of the revered artist Vincent van Gogh portrays Dr. Paul Gachet who took care of the painter during the months before his death. The painting shows the doctor leaning his head on his elbow on a red table. Two authenticated versions are available of the portrait and the first version was sold at an auction in New York.
7. Bal du moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir ($78.1 million)
Bal du moulin de la Galette is the painting commonly known as Dance at Le moulin de la Galette done by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1876. It is one of the most famous masterpieces during the Impressionist movement. It portrays a typical Sunday afternoon in Paris where Parisians would dress up and relax at the Moulin de la Galette.
8. Garçon à la pipe by Pablo Picasso ($104.2 million)
Garçon à la pipe (Boy with a Pipe) is a 1905 painting by Pablo Picasso which portrays a Parisian boy holding a pipe while wearing a wreath of flowers on his head.
9. The Scream by Edvard Munch ($119.9 million)
The Scream is created by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch between 1893 to 1910. The painting shows a figure with an agonized expression. There are four versions of The Scream using several mediums such as oil and pastels.
10. Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso ($106.4 million)
Nude, Green Leaves and Bust is a 1932 painting by Pablo Picasso. It is one of a series of paintings depicting his mistress.