These Are the Artists With the Most Expensive Paintings in the World Right Now

If you are into art as an investment, these are the big names to keep on your radar.

While art, at its core, is a way for artists to express their creativity and imagination, it's not a secret that it can also be a very lucrative investment. Of course, that is, if you know what artists to invest in. According to a report by the UK-based price comparison website, Picasso is the artist whose works currently have the most value at auctions.

Gallery assistants hold an artwork by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso entitled 'Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee' (Marie-Therese Walter)
Gallery assistants hold an artwork by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso entitled 'Femme au beret et a la robe quadrillee' (Marie-Therese Walter) with an estimate price in the region of 35 million pounds, (50 million dollars), during a photocall at Sotheby's in central London on February 22, 2018. DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

The Spaniard, whose art is of course displayed at museums around the world, has sold 15 of the most expensive paintings ever; Those sales total $1.24 billion. In 2015, "Les femmes d'Alger (Version 'O')" sold for an eye-popping $179,365,000 setting a world auction record for any work of art.

American Pop artist Andy Warhol sits in front of several paintings in his 'Endangered Species' at his studio, the Factory, in Union Square, New York, New York, April 12, 1983.
Brownie Harris/Corbis via Getty Images

American pop artist Andy Warhol ranks second with $796.4 million for eight artworks. In 2013, his "Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster)(1963)" fetched $105 million at a Sotheby's auction, which was at the time the highest sale price among American artists, until he was dethroned by Jean-Michel Basquiat's "Untitled (1982)."

Employees pose with 'Red Skull', 1982 by Jean-Michel Basquiat at Christie's London on September 29, 2017 in London, England.
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

And the third spot goes for Mark Rothko. Seven of his priciest paintings sold at auction have generated a total of $768.9 million.

It may come as a surprise that Leonardo DaVinci takes ninth place, since his iconic "Salvator Mundi" made news in 2017 when it sold for an astonishing $450.3 million. This year, a sketch of a bear's head, roughly the size of a post-it note, by DaVinci sold for a whopping $12.2 million.

Willem De Kooning in his studio circa 1982 in the Hamptons.
Luiz Alberto/IMAGES/Getty Images

Another famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh, whose immersive exhibitions have been wildly popular in the U.S. and abroad, takes the fifth spot after Willem de Kooning. The Dutch artist's nine priciest paintings total $557.7 million. Last month, Van Gogh's 1888 watercolor landscape called "Wheatstacks," which the Nazis seized during World War II, fetched an impressive $35.9 million.

According to report, the overall value of the 62 most influential paintings sold at auctions by the top 10 artists equates to $6.32 trillion.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles