(when adjusted for inflation)
3) Gustav Klimt - Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I
Painted in 1907, which was five years before his Portrait II of this model listed as number 10 above. This earlier piece was sold in a private sale by Bloch-Bauer’s niece Maria Altmann in 2006 to collector and Ronald Lauder (of Estee Lauder cosmetics) for his Neue Galerie, which is located in New York City and features nineteenth and twentieth century works of art. The price of the sale was $135 million, which when adjusted for inflation comes to $137.6 million.
2) Willem de Kooning - Woman III
Completed in 1953, it was sold in 2006 to hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen by private sale. This masterpiece came from the collection of David Geffen, who is one of the founders of Dreamworks movie studios. Kooning is known for his series of artwork depicting women with exaggerated body parts. Woman III is the only one of this series that is still privately owned. Cohen purchased it for $137.5 million, which today equals $140.2 million.
1) Jackson Pollock - No. 5
This painting was also from David Geffen’s collection. Pollock is an artist who became known for establishing his own unique style in the Post-War climate that was a radical departure from his peers. No. 5, which was painted in 1948, is was one of his earliest examples of drip painting, which consisted of using his body to move the paint over the canvas. The details of this painting sale were kept very private, but rumor has it that the buyer is Mexican financier and art collector David Martinez, and that he paid a whopping $140 million, which with inflation now totals $142.7 million.
World’s Most Valuable Painting
While some of the most expensive paintings ever sold are included in this article, there is one painting whose value far outweighs even those mentioned here. It is the Mona Lisa, which was painted in the 16th century by Italian master Leonardo Da Vinci. While the identity of the woman depicted in this portrait is not widely known, it is thought to be the wife of a wealthy silk merchant. Historians say that Da Vinci was commissioned by this man to paint her as a way to commemorate the birth of the couple’s second child. The painting now sits in the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it was valued back in 1962 at $100 million, which today makes it worth more than $680 million. Interestingly enough, rather than paying to insure the painting at the time it was assessed, the Louvre spent the money on added security for the piece instead.