The fascination of human beings for imagination, creation, and related narratives is so high that there is a craft solely dedicated to catering, capturing such fancies and realities of life. No prize for right answers – Art. It is ever-captivating, stirring the souls of humans and culture in general. This is the reason why people pay heavy amounts for paintings/artifacts to bring these beauties home.

Throughout history, art auctions have baffled the world with their annual sales. The latest numbers registered are between 60-70 billion dollars per year! Whether the price paid for a particular piece of art is worth it or not is a topic for another day. Investors, however, have too much information at hand and most times, they make decisions that may make jaws drop, literally!

Have you ever heard about the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”? As cliché as it may sound, some very rich members of the art auction audience seem to take this proverb seriously. From buying something for millions of dollars to splurging on an artifact frenzy, they do it all! Let us look at some of the most expensive famous paintings that are in the private hands of the ultra-rich and art-obsessed people.

Nu Couché

The biggest irony about Amedeo Modigliani is that he died in abject poverty and his work wasn’t appreciated during his lifetime! Today, his work is being sold for millions of dollars and people are praising this artist! This artwork was a part of a series of nudes that the painter was working on during the formative years of his career.

“Nu Couche” (reclining nude) is a perfect link to both Expressionism and Surrealism. The lighter shade on the body with perfect use of tones and contrasting colors makes it strikingly beautiful. Also, the signature Modigliani “long face” features are evident in the model used for this painting.

Interestingly, the painting that got sold was another version of this series, where the girl was lying flat on the bed with her genitals exposed. The bidding started at a staggering $75 million and got closed at $170.4 million! A Chinese collector called Liu Yiqian had the honor of taking this 1917 artwork home.

Suprematist Composition

Please do not confuse “Suprematist” with ‘Supremacist” because it will change the whole idea altogether. Kazimir is credited to start this movement in Russia. It is an art movement that talks about geometric forms, such as circles, squares, lines, and rectangles. Artists use these to further the cause of abstract genre of artwork.

Cubism and Futurism as they are known today can be seen in the painting clearly. It is difficult to understand the frame of mind of any artist when they work on a vague understanding of humans, culture, or the cosmos itself. Though the use of black and other dark colors suggests Kazimir’s hint of a detached and dark human existence in the future.

For a critic or a non-believer of art, this painting may be a total dud. As shocked as people were in 1916 when this work came out, there was a private art collector that paid $85.8 million at Christie’s auction in May of 2018! You heard that right, abstract art sells in millions of dollars!

Salvador Mundi

Salvador Mundi is a very famous painting that has been created by a few painters in the yesteryears. Though the above version of the real painting is by Andera-Previtali, the one that was made by none other than the eternal Leonardo Da Vinci was sold for an obscene amount of money. Da Vinci’s version was a bit different and can be seen in the link as a reference.

This epic piece -” Saviour of the world” in English, talks about the final destiny of the human race and the “end times” of all existence. As Christians believe that Christ is coming back for judgment day, this work depicts one hand raised in blessing and the other holding an orb/earth (in real version).

Termed as the world’s most expensive painting to sell at any auction worldwide, Leonardo’s Salvador Mundi went under the hammer for a whopping and unbelievable $450 million dollars! It was sold at Christie’s in 2017. This led the world’s who’s who to scramble their jets to get competitive paintings at similar prices to stage their wealth and power in the high-end art circles.


People buy expensive art for their own reasons. Someone does it to impress their social circle, to make a statement, or to show their financial standing to their extended family. Then another lot does it as they simply have too much money and they don’t know what to do with it! Studies have suggested that most ultra-rich also buy art to vent out their emotions, in a polite way!

Whatever the reason, the 1st-art gallery has an array of artwork in a reproduced oil format in their online stores. A visit to their website,  is a must to bring home a custom art masterpiece. Besides, you do want a copy of what originally was sold for 100 million dollars, don’t you?