If you had a million dollars to spend, what would you do with it? Spend it on fine jewellery, an expensive watch or the dreamiest shoes you ever saw? Well, put those thoughts behind for the next decade and invest in some art. Maybe start with something small and believable for now. But before you do, take a look at some of the most expensive art from around the world.
1 Leonardo Da Vinci – Salvator Mundi
Salvator Mundi pitched as “the last da Vinci in private hands” to art aficionados all over the world, was sold at a private auction at Christie’s auction house, New York for a whopping $450 million. It was believed to have been destroyed long ago but was rediscovered in 2005 and has recently been purchased by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism setting a record for the most expensive piece of art to be ever sold. The painting is to be on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
2 Willem de Kooning – Interchange
This oil on canvas painting by the Dutch-American abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning is the second most expensive piece of art purchased by hedge fund billionaire Kenneth C Griffin. Interchange marks one of the most transformative eras in the career of de Kooning and was painted right when the fortunes of the artist and his contemporaries were undergoing a massive change. It is the artist’s first abstract landscape that was completed in 1955 and shortly sold to its first owner architect Edgar Kauffman for $4000.
3 Paul Cézanne – The Card Players
The Card Players is a series of oil paintings by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne. Painted during Cézanne’s final period in the early 1890s, there are five paintings in the series, out of which one version was sold by George Embiricos in a private sale to the Royal Family of Qatar for an estimated price of $300 million. Each painting describes peasants immersed in their pipes and playing cards. The subjects, all male, with their intense facial expressions are looking downwards at the cards focusing on the game at hand.
4 Paul Gauguin – When will you Marry
This piece is an oil painting from 1892 by the French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin. It was sold privately by the family of Rudolf Staechelin to Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, sister of the ruling Emir of Qatar and the Chairperson for Qatar Museums for $210 million. One of the artist’s most famous and reproduced images depicts a couple of Tahitian native women, one of them dressed in a traditional Tahitian dress, while the other one, showing a serious expression on her face, is wearing a mission dress. At the bottom right is the inscription “NAFEA Faa ipoipo” (When will you marry). Gauguin commonly inscribed his paintings in Tahitian at this time as he was fascinated by the language.
5 Jackson Pollock – Number 17A
Well known for his unique style of drip painting and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement, American painter, Jackson Pollock’s Number 17A was sold to Kenneth C Griffin for $200 million along with his purchase of the Interchange. The artist enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety struggling with alcoholism which lead to his death at the young age of 44.