Masterpieces or million-dollar investments? 3 paintings sold for more than $250 million

Would you buy a painting for $250 million if given a chance? Read about the 3 most expensive paintings in history.

Follow us on Google News-khaleejtimes


Rida Jaleel

Published: Thu 4 May 2023, 11:51 AM

Last updated: Wed 10 May 2023, 11:48 AM

Art is a form of expression. It is creativity and inspiration and a way of conveying oneself to the world around. But art also is a lucrative investment. Across the world, the wealthy and influential have invested millions of dollars in acquiring some of the most valuable paintings in history. Some of them are realistic, some abstract, and some are even bought and sold as NFTs for jaw-dropping prices.

Here are the top three most expensive paintings ever sold at auctions across the world:

‘Salvator Mundi’ by Leonardo da Vinci

Image credit: Salvator Mundi Revisited
Image credit: Salvator Mundi Revisited

We’ve all heard of da Vinci. But did you know that the world’s most expensive painting ever sold is a creation by Leonardo da Vinci called Salvator Mundi? Salvator Mundi – Latin for ‘Saviour of the World – is a painting that depicts Christ with his right hand raised in blessing. In 2017, it was sold by renowned auction house Christie’s for a whopping $450.3 million!

Even though that number is ridiculously large, there might be several reasons for it to be as valued as it is today. Its religious iconography aside, another reason why it costs as much as it does is that it is deemed the last painting da Vinci ever created. It was regarded as a lost work that was recovered in poor condition and then restored.

‘Interchange’ by Willem de Kooning

Image Credit: The William de Kooning website
Image Credit: The William de Kooning website

Interchange is an abstract expressionist painting that was created in 1955 by New-York-based artist Willem de Kooning. The painting is a bright burst of colours and brushstrokes of various colours -- blue, orange, yellow, and black -- against a cream-coloured background. In 2015, the painting was sold for $300 million to businessman Kenneth C. Griffin. The price may seem even more shocking when you consider that Interchange was originally sold by the artist for a mere $4000 in 1955, just two years prior to his death. If only Kooning knew just how valuable his art was about to become!

‘The Card Players’ by Paul Cézanne

Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art website
Image credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art website

The Card Players is a series of five oil paintings by French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. Each of these five paintings depicts men in various numbers smoking pipes and playing a game of cards, each of a different size. Theorists say that the subjects in his paintings range from himself and his father to peasants in his estate playing cards. Today, these five paintings are scattered across the world, gaining homes with the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Arts, London’s Courtauld Insititute of Art, and Paris’ Musée d’Orsay. The painting in question was sold to a Qatari royal family for a mind-blowing sum of $250 million, making it the third-most expensive painting ever to be sold!

The art and auction world are considered to be extremely high-brow and exclusive. These works are prized not just owing to their artistic techniques and value but also based on their hype and significance in the art world. This is probably why rich socialites are willing to spend a large chunk of their wealth on acquiring them. However, the world of art is vast and diverse, and these paintings represent only a fraction of the wealth of artistic treasures that exist.

More news from Lifestyle