What we can learn from The World's Most Expensive Paintings

While I toss and turn one night struggling how to put my tired self to sleep, I gave in and turned on my laptop and start stalk-searching Facebook and Twitter accounts (and yes, that includes my ex's accounts no matter how much I hate some of them, LOL) viewing photos, videos and any good read articles they shared. And as I finished watching a YouTube video, a suggested video suddenly interest me. And even more when a question was popped into my mind: What would you buy if you had one hundred million dollars? 

Would it be a huge apartment in Upper East Side Manhattan with great views?

a collection of cars like Maybach Landaulet?

a month vacation in Paris, shop at Boulevard Haussmann and Palais Royale?

...and dine at Drouant?

Or spend it all into a single painting? 

Relative to my visit at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila and a few artist I know like our very own national artist Vicente S. Manansala, I was glued to finish the almost 59-minute BBC documentary video: The World's Most Expensive Paintings

Art critic Alastair Sooke tracks down the ten most expensive paintings sold at auctions. He investigates the stories behind the astronomic prices art can reach and gaining access to the glittering world of the super-rich - a world of secrecy and rivalry, passion, and power.

10) White Center ((Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) by Mark Rothko 

9) Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens 

8) Au Moulin de la Galette by French artist Pierre-Auguste Renoir 

7) Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet 

6) Portrait of Dr Gachet Van Gogh by Vincent van Gogh

5) Triptych by Francis Bacon 

4) Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt 

3) Dora Maar au chat by Pablo Picasso

2) Garçon à la pipe (Boy with a Pipe) by Pablo Picasso 

1) Nude, Green Leaves & Bust by Pablo Picasso 

Highlights in the documentary also include a visit to the art-crammed home of millionaire author Lord Archer; a rare interview with the man at the heart of the sale of the most expensive old master of all time; privileged access to auctioneers Christie's; and a glimpse of the world of the Russian oligarchs.

What I've learned:

  • - When it comes to art, value isn't only linked to quality. 
  • - The name of the former owner (of the painting) is as important as its artists. 
  • - It's rare for quality paintings to reach an auction.
  • - Overnight, a painting can be viewed in a completely different way.
  • - The value of a painting at an auction is not necessarily the value of a painting, its the value of two people biding against each other because they really want the painting. 
  • - If you get into this mad world (of Art), it's like drugs. You have to have another one. 
  • - The market can be influenced by simply... love for the painting.
  • - Most Russian art collectors are very private, which may not give us an idea of buying art for status symbol, but maybe for social validation among their circle.  
  • - The canvas is exactly the same, but the way it is perceived is magically transformed its attribution to a superstar artist. 
  • - One day, a painting can be overlooked. But the next day, it's suddenly one of the most expensive master ever sold. 
  •  - If fashion has Louis Vuitton, Picasso is the luxury brand for painting collectors.
  • - Sadly, it seems unfair that some of the world's greatest works of art can only be seen depends upon the whims of the super-rich.  

These revelatory journeys allow Sooke to present an eye-opening view of the super wealthy people, and their motivations as collectors of the world's great art treasures.

We're lucky that this was uploaded on YouTube and no need to find on torrents. :)
Now watch the 59-minute BBC documentary and find out the stories behind the most expensive paintings in the world.


  1. Waah grabe ang mamahal ng mga paintings! I don't know how they get the price and worth for those. I won't buy those for sure!

    1. Think: Vintage cars and antiques! The way their prices are determined is the same as with paintings. The older the masterpiece, the higher the value. On top of that, value adds up when two people (or more if you may) are biding against each other because they really want the painting.

    2. I see. Evaluating paintings then for their starting bid price is an art in itself. I imagine them using tools such as a microscope, UV light, infrared, X ray, and forensic analysis to detect wear and tear, etc.

  2. Whoa! Those paintings are REALLY REALLY expensive. The price is enough to support a lifetime na!

  3. The Monet paintings are beautiful. There's this garden in France where the plants from some of his paintings are showcased... I can understand why these prices are as ridiculous as winning the lottery twice in a week... :D

  4. Arts come with a price, and lots of bucks. Very expensive naman ng mga paintings.

  5. wow! Very expensive paintings! 1 painting could buy me house and lot. I think it will take one like me forever to save so I can buy the paintings.

  6. If the artists/painters are that renowned, I wouldn't think twice about getting any of their pricey paintings -- that's of course, if I was filthy rich. Nonetheless, such paintings will be a good investment still. I'm sure they'll grow more in value as the years go by, unlike cars.

  7. Sad truth about incredible works of art..
    But you have to agree that these famous is as beautiful as they are perceived..
    tricky though how a painting can bind the painter, and the paintings previous owner.

  8. Wow, look at all the amount it will cost you buying those famous paintings.
    I think I am a person if ever I have that huge money invest on expensive paintings, or maybe i will.. lol

  9. Owning these kind of paintings is more than having an asset or investment. It's a legacy of the world's most celebrated painters.

  10. If I had a million dollar I probably invest in a good house and transport and reserve some funds to explore the world.

  11. Wow! These paintings are really really really expensive! Although I love art, I don't think I'll ever have the heart to buy any of these paintings, kahit pa ba I magically have millions of dollars. Anyway, it's quite sad and unfair for the artists themselves since most great painters didn't get to enjoy the stature of what their works are worth now. And yes, I really feel like buying expensive paintings is one addiction for the rich people. It's one way of self gratification especially when they got that particular painting after a stiff competition.

  12. am not sure am going to spend my 100M for a single painting... i rather use it for something else worthy that will make me more happy and contented....

  13. Wow, too much expensive for the painting, but as what you have said "The market can be influenced by simply... love for the painting." I am not into painting, but if I fan afford one, why not?

  14. What would you buy if you had one hundred million dollars? well, we all go back to Philippines, put up our own business, a hospital perhaps, a beach house, a farm to relax and shopping with my siblings, niece and nephews. Tess

    1. I am not much of a painting but hubby is a collector, so he might buy him some of those expensive ones.

  15. I did not know that paintings can cost this much. I'm no good at evaluating art but I do appreciate some of these paintings based on your pictures.
    - Wanderer Juan

  16. Whoah! Those are really expensive paintings! More expensive that our house. And how on earth did the first one became that costly?

  17. Valuable works of art, indeed! As for me, I'd rather buy an Upper East Side apartment and just enroll at an arts school to learn how to paint! =)

  18. These famous painters with expensive paintings really states the status of the owner.
    If I would have one hundred million dollars? I would put up my own adventure park and resort, a mall, a hospital and tour around the world.

  19. I just know now from your post that paintings can be viewed in a completely different way overnight. With 100M? That's a lot and I should be ready for that. I tried to sneak in my ex's FB and it seems nothing at all. I enjoy reading your post.

  20. These paintings are really expensive but I'm sure this are great investments.


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