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TOP Five Most Expensive Paintings of All Time

March 15, 2010

Millions and Hundreds of Millions of dollars are spent every year by the wealthy seeking a highly sought after piece of art. Following is a list of the Top Ten Most Expensive Paintings of All Time and an explanation of what makes them so special and worth the exorbitant price.

1. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt ($135,000,000)

This record breaking sale was enabled by a court order by the Austrian government to return the painting to the Artist’s rightful heir. The entire dispute lasted over a year and was necessary to return the painting that was looted by the Nazis during World War II.

Skillfully painted in 1907 by the art nouveau master Gustav Klimt, the painting was purchased by Ronald S. Lauder, the cosmetics heir, in 2006.

2. Garçon à la Pipe by Pablo Picasso ($104,100,000)

Created during the Rose Period, Garcon a la Pipe showcases Picasso’s exceptional use of cheerful orange and pink palatte.

The oil on canvas painting, measuring 100 × 81.3 cm (slightly over 39 × 32 inches), displays a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand.

The record price auction at the time on May 4, 2004 in Sotheby’s was a bit of a surprise to the core art buyers, because it was painted in the style not usually associated with the pioneering Cubist artist.

3. Dora Maar with Cat by Pablo Picasso ($95,200,000)

Another enormous surprise followed in 2006, when this painting near doubled its inaccurate presale estimate and brought in new record $95,200,000 at auction at Sotheby’s on May 3, 2006.

Painted in 1941, Picasso’s controversial portrait (one of his last) is sometimes described as an unflattering depiction of his mistress, Dora Maar, who was an artist/photographer and mistress of Picasso whose relationship lasted ten years during the 1930s and 40s.

4. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh ($82,500,000)

This painting by the Dutch Impressionist master Vincent van Gogh suddenly became world-famous when Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito paid $82.5 million for it at auction in Christie’s, New York. Saito was so attached to the painting that he wanted it to be cremated with him when he died. Saito died in 1996 … but the painting was saved.

Vincent van Gogh actually painted two versions of Dr Gachet’s portrait. You can view the other version, with a slightly different color scheme, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

5. Bal Au Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir ($78,000,000)

Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre was painted by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir in 1876. On May 17, 1990, it was sold for $ 78,000,000 at Sotheby’s in New York City to Ryoei Saito, who bought it together with the Portrait of Dr Gachet (see above).

ARTICLE BY KAREMAR |

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