The World’s Most Expensive Art

The World’s Most Expensive Art

The World’s Most Expensive Art

Valuable Art - Mona Lisa painted by Leonardo Da Vinci
Collecting art is usually relegated to millionaire art collectors and museums with funds and grants at their disposal. So, it’s no secret that art can be expensive, but you may be astonished by the prices paid for the world’s most expensive art pieces.

Below are ten of the most expensive pieces of art ever sold to people and organisations.

1. Salvator Mundi by Leonardo Da Vinci

In 2017, a newly found Da Vinci piece sold for $450.3 million, shocking the art world and creating a heated debate among art historians and experts. Given the esteem and value placed on other Da Vinci pieces, the fact that this sale caused such a stir may be surprising. After all, how could a piece by the artist who painted the Mona Lisa and Last Supper not be valuable?

But when the Salvator Mundi painting was first found and bought by art dealers in 2005, it was in rough shape — it had been poorly restored and overpainted, the wood supports had been infested with worms, but most notably, it wasn’t known if this piece was actually created by Da Vinci or by one his students. And it’s this uncertainty that caused shock and a heated debate when it sold for a record-breaking price in 2017.

2. Interchange by Willem de Kooning

In 2015, Interchange sold for $300 million, putting it in second place for the world’s most valuable painting. The piece was one in a series of abstract figure paintings de Kooning developed between 1948 and 1955. It’s hard to believe that when Willem de Kooning first sold the piece, he only made $4000. Like many now-famous artists, de Kooning was criticised for his style and technique when it first debuted.

3. The Card Players by Paul Cézanne

After being sold for $250 million in 2011, The Card Players joined the ranks of the world’s most expensive paintings. Paul Cézanne, famous for his impressionist and post-impressionist works, created this painting as a part of a series of paintings focused on labourers and their card games in the early 1890s — though this one is the only one to have fetched such a high price.

4. Nafea Faa Ipoipo by Paul Gauguin

Nafea Faa Ipoipo (which translates to “When Will You Marry?”) is another painting created in the 1890s that has sold for millions, or more accurately, for $210 million in 2014. The sale of this painting, like the Salvator Mundi, also created controversy in the art world, but not to the same extent. It was initially said to have been bought for $300 million, which would have made it the most expensive painting in the world at the time. However, three years later, it was revealed this was untrue, taking away the painting’s status as the most expensive in the world.

5. Number 17A by Jackson Pollock

In 2015, Jackson Pollock’s piece Number 17A sold for $200 million. Pollock is famous for his abstract expressionist style, the “drip technique,” and Number 17A is one of his earliest pieces using the technique. Because his style was so unique, it brought him a great deal of attention, both good and bad. Today, the American painter is celebrated for being a leader in the abstract expressionist style and for having painted one of the world’s most expensive art pieces.

6. The Standard-Bearer by Rembrandt van Rijn

The Standard-Bearer by Rembrandt joined the ranks of expensive paintings when it sold for $198 million in 2022. It was bought by the Dutch government to be displayed at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. The Standard-Bearer is a self-portrait of the famous and respected Dutch artist and was created during a turning point for the artist who was moving away from portraits to depict scenes and moments of action.

7. Shot Sage Blue Marilyn by Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s piece Shot Sage Blue Marilyn is not only one of the most expensive paintings in the world but is also the most expensive 20th-century painting. The painting perfectly represents Warhol’s distinctive style and frequent references to pop culture. It was sold in 2022 for $195 million.

8. No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red) by Mark Rothko

This abstract expressionist painting was sold in 2014 for $186 million, earning it recognition as one of the most expensive paintings in the world. The piece was completed by Mark Rothko in the early 1950s in his signature style of simple shapes and vibrant colours arranged in rectangular bands. His seemingly simple work has become highly valuable, with many of his pieces selling in the $60-80 million range.

9. Portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit by Rembrandt van Rijn

This set of portraits by Rembrandt was sold in 2016 to two buyers, the Louvre and the Rijksmuseum, for $180 million. The price can be attributed to Rembrandt’s prestige and skill and to the fact that a set of portraits that have stayed together since the early 1600s is incredibly rare.

10. Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”) by Pablo Picasso

Les Femmes d’Alger, or in English, “The Women of Algiers,” was sold for $179 million in 2015. The painting is done in the recognisable cubism style of Pablo Picasso. Picasso produced multiple paintings within the same theme, but this one stole the show by becoming one of the most expensive pieces of art in the world.

It isn’t the only Picasso painting to sell for an astonishing amount: his piece Le Rêve sold for $150 million. Le Rêve sold even though the piece needed to be restored after Steven Wynn, an art collector and owner of multiple casinos, managed to put his elbow through the canvas.

Beauty May Be in the Eye of the Beholder, But the Price Is Not

While the enjoyment of art is subjective, the same cannot be said when putting a price on original paintings from master artists who have come and gone.

Double Commission From Being on Surrey Artists Website

Art & Prints from Surrey Artists   Painting Commissions Invited

Double Commission From Being on Surrey Artists Website

Melanie Cambridge writes about her experience this summer doing a double commission via Russell Sage Studio (Interior Design) for Pennyhill Park Hotel & Spa.

Water Irises Art Commission - Surrey Artist Painting for Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa near Bagshot
Lily Pond Art Commission from Surrey Artists website

You never know what’s around the corner!

Earlier this year I was approached by Russell Sage Studio, an interior design company who were then involved with a major refurbishment at Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa near Bagshot. This came “out of the blue” when I received a phone call from Russell Sage Studio. Jane, the main designer, said she often browsed for artists on the Surrey Artists website which was where she came across my work.

Irises colour swatch - Bagshot Surrey Art Commission for Russel Sage Studio Interior Designers
Lily colour swatch - Bagshot Surrey Art Commission for Russel Sage Studio Interior Designers

This was my first experience working with an interior designer and it came with a lot of pressure. To please them, to make sure the client was also happy. I ended up producing several colour swatches and work in progress images throughout the process, not to mention working weekends to meet some pretty tight deadlines. It was exciting to be involved as part of a team for a change, but you do need to be flexible in your approach with such a collaborative process.

Water Irises Painting Commission for Surrey Artist ordered by Russell Sage Interior Design Studio
Water Lilies Painting - Art Commission for Pennyhill Park Hotel and Spa Bagshot Surrey

By Melanie Cambridge, member of Surrey Artists website since 2018. You can view her portfolio of art here.

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01483 771 345

(Surrey Artists & all about Weybridge)


Surrey Artists,
27 The Riding,
Surrey GU21 5TA


Please like & follow us on Facebook to be kept informed of exhibitions & news

What Perks Does the Paint-by-Numbers Method Have?

Art, Painting Commissions & Prints from Surrey Artists

What Perks Does the Paint-by-Numbers Method Have?

Painting by numbers is a method of deconstructing an image into its parts. Don’t forget that each hue corresponds to a certain number and that those numbers are associated with the shapes. Ultimately, each form takes on the appearance of a fully realized painting after being covered with paint.

In the 16th century, a painter named Michelangelo presented the first work of its kind. In reality, he had some of his most trusted followers decorate his ceiling. To avoid confusion, we pre-numbered all of the ceilings.

Many would dismiss “painting by numbers” as a joke due to its apparent lack of originality and complexity. On the other hand, this method is getting serious people’s attention these days. This method is effective in reducing stress levels.

There is a written outline to follow, miniature paints and a brush with each of these kits. Oil and acrylic are the most frequent types of paint used today. The choice is yours; you might use pencils or paints instead. Acrylic paints are the finest to use when first starting. That’s because acrylic paint dries quite fast.

It is common knowledge that engaging in creative activities positively affects one’s well-being on all levels: emotional, mental, and physical. It’s commonly recognized as a therapy that might inspire you to find novel approaches to resolving issues plaguing you. You will be able to think creatively.

The painting also stimulates the development of new brain cells and the release of the feel-good chemical dopamine. For this reason, it benefits your pursuit of a happy life since it increases your concentration and motivation.

Advantages of Painting by Numbers

Maintaining a healthy mind is crucial for striking a good work-life balance. It was discovered in 2005 that painting could help people relax and unwind. Let’s take a look at why Painting by Numbers is so popular.

Getting Worried

Painting has been shown to induce serenity, contentment, and joy in its practitioners. It’s one of the simplest methods for maintaining long-term stress relief. You won’t have to worry about anything for at least three hours. However, you don’t have to be an artist to benefit from this method.

Awareness Level

This method can aid in the development of a more concentrated mind.


You’ll feel accomplished when you use this method to finish a painting. Therefore, you can raise your levels of originality and assurance.

Paying Close Attention

You may achieve the same meditative state by drawing intricate patterns as you would by sitting still and focusing on your breathing. Paying attention is vital; for instance, if you play online games from a reputable website like NetBet, you need to pay close attention to the regulations and risks involved to anticipate or avoid disappointment in the long-run.


Creative activities like painting or colouring might help with concentration and problem-solving.

Longsuffering and Acceptance

It’s a systematic procedure, so you’ll be working on minor aspects one at a time, which might teach you the value of being patient.

IQ and motor skill proficiency

Similarly, the practice of “Painting by Numbers” can help improve one’s hand-eye coordination and memory. This means less time spent dependent on medication.