Artists are known to have complicated lives. Either they are very underrated and no one understands their art, or people start to appreciate them only after their death. And then their admirers don’t hesitate to spend their lifetime savings for a painting. If someone asked you, which painting you think is the most expensive, you’d probably guess Mona Lisa or Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci. Well, here’s a surprise for you! We have put together a list of the five most valuable paintings in recent history. Which one would you like to see on the wall of your bedroom or living room?
Naturally, the first place belongs to Master da Vinci, but surprisingly enough, his most expensive artwork is Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World), not the painting of Mona Lisa. The portrait of Christ dating back to 1500 was considered lost for a long time; in 2017 it was expected to be the highlight of an auction at the Rockefeller Center. According to pre-auction estimates, the painting was supposed to be sold for 2.2 billion crowns, however, it was eventually auctioned off for $ 450 million, which is 10 billion crowns. The buyer is reportedly Saudi Prince Badr bin Abdullah.
The second most expensive painting of present times is The Exchange from the Dutch-American painter Willem de Kooning. In 2015, a buyer paid $ 300 million (which is 6.5 billion crowns) for this work as part of a private trade deal.
The third place belongs to the series of five paintings entitled Card Players by French painter Paul Cézanne from the 19th century. Four of them can be seen in museums in Paris and London. The last piece has been in the ownership of collector Georges Embiricos for years, until he sold it to the Qatar royal family 2011. Their wallet became lighter by about $ 250 million, which is over five billion Czech crowns.
The oil painting from 1892, created by French post-impressionist artist Paul Gauguin, entitled Nafea Faa Ipoipo or When Will You Marry?, was purchased by the sister of Qatar ruler Sheikha al-Mayassa in 2015, who regularly appears on the pages of the American magazines Time and Forbes in the list of the 100 most powerful women in the world. Sheikha bought the painting for $ 210 million, which is four billion crowns.
The last painting we’d like to mention is a work of American painter Jackson Pollock, whose abstract creation entitled No. 5 was sold for $ 140 million (CZK 3 billion) in 2006. The painting, which features mainly brown and yellow structures, was purchased from the music and film producer David Geffen by a Mexican collector David Martinez.