In the words of Jack Pollock, 'Painting is self discovery and every good artist paints what he is.' And this statement is proved true by the creation of some of the most brilliant work of all times. Most artists would agree that one cannot put a price tag on a painting!
But, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, so lets see how much the wealthiest art enthusiast's would pay to get hold of a painting that has got them obsessed. This article speaks about the six most expensive paintings ever sold.
What do you think the six are?
1) SALVADOR MUNDI
Salvador Mundi, Latin for 'Saviour of the World' is a brilliant 45.4 × 65.6cm oil on walnut piece of art speculated to have been created by the legendary Italian artist Leonardo Da Vinci. The painting is that of a Renaissance influenced Jesus making the sign of the cross with his right hand and holding a crystal orb with his left.
This painting has been heavily damaged over the years and extensive efforts to restore it have been undertaken so much so that some say that the current work looks quite different from its original form. In spite of this, the Salvador Mundi has made history by being the most expensive painting to have ever been sold. Saudi Prince Badr bin Abdullah has bought this magnificent painting for a whopping $450 million in 2017. Rumours have it that the purchase was actually done on behalf of Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the painting now resides on his private yacht! What a sight that must be!
Interchange, an epitome of abstract expressionism, is a 200.7 × 175.3 cm painting created in 1955 by Dutch American artist Willem de Kooning. Described by art critics as pure primal art, this oil on canvas painting was bought by Kenneth C. Griffin in 2015 for $300 million and is currently on loan at the Art Institute of Chicago. Interchange is a perfect portrayal of Willem de Kooning's belief that art should not have to be a certain way. What is the Interchange about? Well, let your imagination make that decision for you!
Described by art critics as pure primal art, this oil on canvas painting was bought by Kenneth C. Griffin in 2015 for $300 million.
3) THE CARD PLAYERS
The Card Players is a series of five oil on canvas paintings created by the great French impressionist Paul Cezanne. The final painting of the series was the third most expensive painting ever sold. It was sold to the Royal family of Qatar for $250 million in 2011. The artwork is a loose unfinished style of painting of two peasants quietly smoking their pipe and intently playing a game of cards. The painting shows the peasants in an extraordinary sense of timeless tranquility as if they have found their true centre and can never be moved.
The other four versions of the painting are located in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, the Courtauld Gallery in London, the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York!
4) NAFEA FAA IPOIPO
Nafea Faa Ipoipo translated to 'When will you marry?' is a masterpiece by French artist Paul Ganguin which showcases two women of a Tahitian tribe in deep conversation about marriage. The woman in the foreground is in traditional attire and has a white flower behind her left ear that indicates that she is looking out for a husband. The women in the background, dressed in a high neck Western dress, sits straight and makes a gesture warning the other woman about when she is going to get married. Ganguin traveled to Tahiti in 1891 hoping to find an endemic paradise where he could create pure, primitive art and it was here that he created this 40×30 inch oil on canvas painting that was sold in 2015 for $210 million to Qatari Princess Sheikha Al- Mayaisa bint Hamad Al Thani!
5) NUMBER 17A
Number 17A is an abstract expressionist piece of art created by American artist Jackson Pollock in 1948 with oil paints on a 112 × 86.5 cm fiber-board and was sold to Kenneth C. Griffin for $200 million in 2015. People who saw him paint claim that the real prize lay in his mystical ritualistic process of creating the painting. It is rumoured that he danced over the canvas during this process and some of his work even have footprints visible on them. Pollock was ardent about the fact that the interpretation of his painting must be completely left to his viewers. He insisted on not naming the painting in order to prevent influencing patrons of his art. So he simply numbered it instead!
6) Wasserschlagen II
Also known as Water Serpents II, this 80×145 cm genius work was created by Gustav Klimt in 1907 as commissioned by Jenny Steiner, a Jewish German, who lost the painting when she fled from Germany to Portugal to escape the Nazis. This oil on canvas shows four water nymphs in lustful bliss in a watery enclosure. Water is used to suggest a purging of the soul from impurities and is symbolic of fertility and birth. The long hair of the mythical figurines are decked with ornaments reminiscent of the mighty ocean. The stars represent starfishes, the circles represent barnacles and the broad brush strokes and green hues represent seaweed. In 2015 this painting was found and was rumoured to have been sold for $170 million to an unnamed Qatari princess to be in her private collection. Nobody knows who the buyer is and where the painting is. The painting might just be lost once again!
Who do you think will create the next piece of genius artwork and make a fortune?