What is the Most Expensive Piece of Artwork?

The most expensive piece of artwork ever sold, with documentation, is a Jackson Pollock painting called "No. 5, 1948." Painted in 1948, it sold in a private sale for $140 million United States Dollars (USD) in 2006 — which would equate to about $151.2 million USD in 2010. In comparison, the world's most expensive car, a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic, set an auction record at $30 million USD in 2010.

More expensive toy facts:

  • The most expensive painting ever auctioned was Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust." It was sold for $106.5 million USD, setting a new record for an auction, in 2010.

  • The last time "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" was sold was in 1951 for $19,800 USD, which would equate to about $165,734 USD in 2010.

  • Other expensive pieces of art sold privately (i.e., not in an auction) include "Woman III" by Willem de Kooning which went for $137.5 million ($148.5 million converted to today's equivalent) and Gustav Klimt's "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I" which sold for $135 million ($144.8 million converted to today's equivalent).
  • $1 million USD weighs about 220,000 pounds (99,790 kg).

  • $140 million USD will buy one of the world's most expensive houses: Updown Court in Surrey, United Kingdom. The estate comes with neighbors: Elton John and the Queen of England.

  • The most expensive bottle of wine, a 1787 Chateau Lafite Bordeaux, auctioned for a mere $160,000 USD in 1985. The bottle not only garnered the price due to its age, but also by virtue of the fact that it was owned — and signed — by U.S. President Thomas Jefferson.
More Info: Wikipedia; World Interesting Facts; New York Times

Discussion Comments


How can someone pay that much for one piece and a piece of really abstract art at that?!

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