TOP 5 worlds most expensive paintings

5. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh ($82,500,000)

This painting by the Dutch Impressionist master Vincent van Gogh suddenly became world-famous when Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito paid $82.5 million for it at auction in Christie’s, New York. Saito was so attached to the painting that he wanted it to be cremated with him when he died. Saito died in 1996 … but the painting was saved.

Vincent van Gogh actually painted two versions of Dr Gachet’s portrait. You can view the other version, with a slightly different color scheme, at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

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4. Dora Maar with Cat by Pablo Picasso ($95,200,000)

Another big surprise followed in 2006, when this painting near doubled its presale estimate and fetched a record $95,200,000 at auction at Sotheby’s on May 3, 2006.

Painted in 1941, Picasso’s controversial portrait (one of his last) is sometimes described as an unflattering depiction of his mistress, Dora Maar, who was an artist/photographer and mistress of Picasso whose relationship lasted ten years during the 1930s and 40s.

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3. Garçon à la Pipe by Pablo Picasso ($104,100,000)

Garçon à la Pipe was created during the artist’s famous Rose Period, during which Picasso painted with a cheerful orange and pink palatte. The oil on canvas painting, measuring 100 × 81.3 cm (slightly over 39 × 32 inches), depicts a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand.

The record price auction at Sotheby’s New York on May 4, 2004 was a bit of a surprise to art buyers, since it was painted in the style not usually associated with the pioneering Cubist artist.

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2. Nu au Plateau de Sculpteur (Nude, Green Leaves and Bust) by Pablo Picasso ($106, 500,00) Created in a single day in March 1932, Picasso’s painting set a world record auction price for a work of art at Christie’s in May 2010. The painting, more than 5 feet by 4 feet, shows Picasso’s mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter, both reclining and as a bust.

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1.Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Gustav Klimt ($135,000,000)

The record-breaking sale – which followed a court order by the Austrian government to return the painting to Bloch-Bauer’s heir – was the culmination of a years-long dispute over the painting looted by Nazis during World War II.

Painted by the art nouveau master Gustav Klimt in 1907, the portrait was purchased in 2006 by cosmetics heir Ronald S. Lauder.

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? No. 5, 1948 by Jackson Pollock ($140,000,000?)

Unconfirmed rumors that continue to buzz the art world now place this painting at the top of the list, at least temporarily. If true, the $140 million price tag would be the highest ever for a painting, besting the $135 million paid for the Gustav Klimt painting Portrait of Adele Block Bauer in June 2006.

Painted by expressionist Jackson Pollock in his trademark “drip” style, the 4′ x 8′ painting is said to have been purchased by entertainment mogul David Geffen in November 2006.

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