It’s usually said that art is priceless in theory but in reality, it can leave an enormous hole in your pocket. The ethereal artworks that grace the walls of grand museums and dainty art galleries command as big a price as the beauty, grace, and depth embedded in them.
The sky-rocketing prices can go as high as your mortgage or the cost of a Ferrari but for art aficionados, the price tags cease to matter in front of a masterpiece. It is usually said that only classic painters are expensive to buy but contemporary painters like Mark Rothko are no less.
Well, famous paintings are famous for a particular reason which allows them to command a staggeringly high price. So, let us look over these wildly distinguished paintings which are art at their peak, and see the net worth they decree.
The Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
This masterpiece by the High Renaissance artist, Leonardo Da Vinci is arguably the most famous painting in the world. The Mona Lisa is an awe-inspiring portrait of Lisa Gherardini who was the wife of a Florentine cloth merchant called Francesco del Giocondo. She was said to be a woman of the night and rumored to be pregnant which explains her hand-on-stomach gesture which denotes motherhood in many traditions.
You must be wondering why anyone would be mesmerized by this woman. The courtesy of that goes to the Italian artist who drew her face so mathematically proportionate that it is impossible to take your eyes off of the figurine. That added up to the classic Da Vinci trademarks, this painting is now valued at $850,000,000 and rightly so, we believe. Due to its staggeringly high price, the only way to visit Mona Lisa is at the Louvre Museum in Paris where you’ll always find hundreds like you adorning the same woman.
Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry Me? ) By Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin is distinguished for his travels to the paradisiacal land of Tahiti where he not just witnessed some exhilarating flora but also some extremely beautiful women. Many of his works attempt to record the flamboyant beauty of the Tahiti women which many critics said was fetishizing the Tahiti culture. But people say what may, the work of art was breathtakingly beautiful coupled with a never-seen-before landscape as the background.
Due to this very reason, the artwork was sold to a private buyer in 2015 at the unbelievably high price of USD 300 million. This painting depicts two cocoa-colored women sitting nonchalantly wearing everyday sarees, sitting as it seems in the lap of nature. The post-Impressionist artist, Paul Gauguin inspired many of his contemporaries through his flawless techniques which made his art irresistible like this very piece.
The Card Players by Paul Cezzane
This oil painting by a famed French post-Impressionist master artist, Paul Cezzane depicts two Aixen-Providence farmworkers intense playing a game of cards. It is said to be a very personal and almost autobiographical painting by critics where the surface of each object can be scratched off to find a deeper symbol. For example, the blurred cards represent the ultimate paintings done by the artist himself.
The pair of card players are Paul and his father where the game of cards stands for how much he had to strive to win his father’s approval over his fantastical art. This painting is a part of a series of five Paul churned out which rest in some of the most eminent museums in the world. Being a Paul Cezzane, this painting was sold off at USD 250 million and now its value will be around USD 300 million.
Number 17A by Jackson Pollock
Jackson Pollock is known as the harbinger of the movement of abstract expressionism in the industry only a few decades ago. Starting small, he became wildly well-known for his aesthetic art with slight help from an art critic, Clement Greenberg. His most extraordinary technique of drip painting, where he would directly rain paint over a canvas in swirly and haywire patterns, eventually birthed some beautiful art.
While many aficionados discredited his art style, he still rose to the hall of fame by commanding a price of USD 200 million. This painting is a stunning blend of yellow, red, and orange, blue along with some black and white splashed all over.
No.6 (Violet, Green, and Red) By Mark Rothko
Those in the art business would surely attest to the fact that the name of Mark Rothko is
almost synonymous with abstract art for he shouldered the movement for so long. He was known for staining the canvases with huge block-like rectangular shapes filled in bold and vibrant colors.
These artworks may sound mundane but intended to invoke strong humanistic emotions in the viewer. No.6 painted by Mark in 1951 turned out to be one of the most expensive paintings ever sold at USD 186 million in 2011 which etched his name in history, all emboldened.
The Bottom Line
Art is the only thing that can command so high and still be called priceless for its beauty cannot be downsized with numbers. To buy famous paintings like these one needs deep pockets no doubt but also, the eye of a connoisseur and the heart of a true art lover.