Art means expressiveness, creativity, and skill, and if they’re all combined, they form something amazing and unique, a masterpiece. The concept of art is hard to understand because everyone sees something different and we feel all kinds of feelings when we look at a painting.
There are over 30 art periods in history, but here are some.
The cubist art style is represented by abstract paintings that can be interpreted in many ways. Cubism appeared in Europe in the XX century, mainly known for its very popular artists Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Leger, and Robert Delaunay.
Another important period for art is the Renaissance. Renaissance art grew in the XIV-XVI century, earlier than the Cubism Era. The most known artist that made this type of art style are Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Donatello, and Caravaggio.
Some critics say that Impressionism is the most important movement in the entire modern painting. Impressionism is characterized by little thin yet visible lines and it started when a group of young artists had the desire to embrace modernity and weren’t interested in painting mythology or history. This movement was created in the XIX century and the artists that contributed were Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Edgar Degas.
The Standard Bearer – $198 million
The Standard Bearer, painted by Rembrandt in 1636, was purchased by Rijksmuseum with assistance from the Dutch state and Vereniging Rembrandt in 2022 for €175 million. The seller, the Rothschild family, owned the paint since 1844 and it was bought through a trust located in the tax haven of the Cook Islands.
Les femmes d’Alger – $179.4 million
The most expensive art piece Picasso owns is Les femmes d’Alger which translated means Women of Algiers. Picasso painted this masterpiece in 1955 in Qatar, being the last in a series of 15 paintings that were inspired by Eugène’s Delacroix Femmes d’Alger dans leur apartment. The “Version O”, the final painting, was bought by Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani at Christie’s New York Auction house for $179.4 million in May 2015 from a private seller.
Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit – $180 million
Rembrandt painted this pair of full-length wedding portraits that mark the wedding of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit in 1634. This art piece is owned now by the Louvre Museum and Rijksmuseum after they both paid the price of $180 million. Rembrandt chose oil canvas for these paintings, measuring 209.5 cm × 135.5 cm (82.5 in × 53.3 in).
No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) – $186 million
Maybe the most eccentric and unusual painting you will see on this list. Mark Rothko was a Latvian-American abstract expressionist that lived in the period 1903-1970. This masterpiece was sold to the Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev, for the price of $186 million in 2014.
Wasserschlangen II – $187 million
This painting succeeds the Wasserschlangen I and like the first one, it deals with the same-sex relationship and the women’s body sensuality in water. It was painted from 1904 to 1907. Unfortunately for this painting, it was confiscated by the Nazis during World War II because of its Jewish owner, Jenny Steiner. Dmitry Rybolovlev paid $187 million in 2013 for Gustav Klimt’s masterpiece.
Number 17A – $200 million
Number 17A was painted by the American painter Paul Jackson Pollock, widely known for his “drip technique”. The painting was purchased in September 2015 for $200 million from David Geffen, a then record-breaking price.
Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) – $210 million
The French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin painted the Nafea Faa Ipoipo in 1892. Post-Impressionism was a French art movement that took place between 1886 and 1905. Gaugin got his inspiration for this painting during his travel to Tahiti, in 1891.
The card players – $250 million
The Card Players is a series of oil paintings made by the post-impressionist painter Paul Cézanne in 1894-1895. One version was sold to the Royal Family of Qatar for 250$ million in 2011, the highest ever price for a painting, and the record wasn’t surpassed until 2015.
Interchange – $300 million
The painting was sold for the first time by the artist, Willem de Kooning, in 1955 for the price of $4,000, without knowing that his masterpiece will be sold in September 2015 for the shocking price of $300 million to Kenneth C. Griffin. It is now classified as the second most expensive painting, surpassed only by the painting of Leonardo da Vinci.
Salvator Mundi – $450.3 million
At present, this is the most expensive painting sold in the World. Leonardo da Vinci created this painting named Salvator Mundi between 1499-1510. It was made with oil on a walnut panel and has dimensions of 45.4 cm × 65.6 cm (25.8 in × 19.2 in). This paint was sold in November 2017 at an astonishing price of 450.3 $ million. The buyer is Prince Badr bin Abdullah.