1. Garçon à la Pipe by Pablo Picasso ($ 104,100,000)
Garçon à la Pipe is painted during Picasso's famous Rose Period, a period in which Picasso preferred cheerful orange and pink colors. The oil on canvas painting, measuring 100 x 81.3 cm (slightly over 39 x 32 inches), depicts a Parisian boy holding a pipe in his left hand.
The record price paid for this painting in an auction at Sotheby's New York on May 4, 2004, was a bit of a surprise. While aesthetically pleasing, the painting is not made in the Cubist style that Picasso is so renamed for. Many even state that the record price was more due to the artists name than the quality of the painting.
2. Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent van Gogh ($ 82,500,000)
This painting by the Dutch Impressionism 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 Gahet's portrait. You can view the other version, with a slightly different color scheme, at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
3. Au Moulin de la Galette by Pierre-Auguste Renoir ($ 78,000,000)
Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre is an 1876 painting by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir. On May 17, 1990, it was sold for $ 78,000,000 at Sotheby's in New York City, New York to Ryoei Saito, who bought it together with the Portrait of Dr Gachet.
4. Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens ($ 76,700,000)
This painting by Peter Paul Rubens, painted in 1611, is the only one painting in this list which was not painted in the 19th or 20th century. It was sold to Kenneth Thomson, 2nd Baron Thomson of Fleet for $ 76,700,000 at a 2002 Sotheby's auction.
5. Portrait de l'Artiste sans Barbe by Vincent van Gogh ($ 71,500,000)
Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe ("Self-portrait without beard") is one of many self-portraits by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh, that he painted in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in September 1889. The painting is a oil painting on canvas and is 40 cm x 31 cm (16 "x 13").
Van Gogh painted this just after he had shaved himself. This is an uncommon painting since his other self-portraits show him with a beard. The self-portrait is one of the most expensive paintings of all time since it was sold for $ 71.5 million in 1998 in New York.
6. Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier by Paul Cézanne ($ 60,500,000)
This painting by Paul Cézanne, painted in ca. 1893-1894, sold for $ 60,500,000 at Sotheby's New York on May 10, 1999 to "The Whitneys". Whitney, born into one of America's wealthiest families, was a venture capitalist, publisher, Broadway show and Hollywood film producer, and philanthropist.
7. Femme aux Bras Croisés by Pablo Picasso ($ 55,000,000)
This painting, painted in 1901, was a part of Picasso's famous Blue Period, a dark, sad period. The painting depicts a woman with her arms crossed staring at the endless nothing. The beautiful different tones of blue ofcourse are typical for the period Picasso was in.
Femme aux Bras Croisés was sold for $ 55,000,000 November 8, 2000, at Christie's Rockefeller in New York City. With four paintings by Picasso in the top ten, we can name him without a doubt the most expensive painter ever.
8. Irises by Vincent Van Gogh ($ 53,900,000)
With 3 paintings in this top ten, van Gogh is also a main supplier of expensive paintings. Vincent van Gogh painted this at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France in 1889, only one year before his death. In 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold, though this record has since been surpassed. It was sold for $ 54,000,000 to Alan Bond.
9. Les Noces de Pierrette by Pablo Picasso ($ 51,670,000)
Les Noces de Pierrette was also painted in Picasso's Blue Period, a period in which he suffered from poverty and depression. This painting was sold to a rich Chines businessman for $ 51,670,000 at Pinoche et Godeau in Paris, France, on November 30, 1989.
10. Femme Assise Dans Un Jardin by Pablo Picasso ($ 49,500,000)
The only painting in this list by Picasso that is actually painted in his world-famous Cubism style. Pablo Picasso painted it in 1938, only a few years before World War II broke out. The woman he painted was one of his mistresses, Dora Maar.
Femme Assise Dans Un Jardin by Pablo Picasso was sold at on November 10, 1999, for $ 49,500,000 at New York City's Sotheby's. The auction was very hectic because three anonymous phone bidders tried to win the painting.
Source de Bruno Dillen