The most expensive paintings (9 photos)

13 May 2024
Category: painting, 0+

Their paintings cost fortunes and were sought after by collectors.

In this article you can learn about the most expensive paintings by Ukrainian, Latvian, Russian and Belarusian artists.

“Bull Carcass” by Chaim Soutine

Chaim was born in the village of Smilovich, Minsk region. He lived in a poor Jewish family. Father is a tailor. Since childhood, Chaim wanted to become an artist, which was complete nonsense for his relatives.

It was because of this that he ran away from home to Minsk, from there to Vilna, and later was able to get to Paris. At each of these stops he studied art.

After the end of the First World War, Chaim moved to the south of France, where he spent 7 years. It was after returning to Paris that he began his series of “meat still lifes,” which were inspired by Rembrandt’s painting “The Carcass of a Bull” from the Louvre.

Chaim Soutine always painted from life. The carcasses were brought to his home. Moreover, when the carcass became weathered, he watered it with specially prepared blood.

There is a legend that another famous artist, Marc Chagall, lived on the floor below. Due to the abundance of blood in Chaim’s apartment, it seeped through the floor and began to drip from Mark’s ceiling, which is why the latter ran to the neighbor. He thought that Chaim was being killed, but the artist did not need help.

In 2016, the painting was sold at Christie’s auction for 28 million 165 thousand dollars.

“Lovers” Marc Chagall (Moses Khatskelevich)

Mark Zakharovich Chagall was born near Vitebsk in the village of Liozno.

He received a traditional Jewish education at home, then studied at the Vitebsk four-year school and moved to St. Petersburg. He studied art first at the Drawing School of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, and then at the private art school of E.N. Zvantseva.

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"Lovers", Marc Chagall

In 1911, Marc went to Paris to pursue art and live next door to Chaim Soutine.

Mark's works are a special expressionism, usually including elements of naive art, techniques of surrealism, as well as layers of fashion trends relevant to the period of creation of the work.

Chagall's calling card is "Above the City"

For a long time, the artist’s most expensive painting was “Anniversary” from 1923. Its cost is 14.9 million dollars. It depicts himself and his wife Bella.

But in the painting “Lovers” Mark also depicted himself and his wife. In November 2017, this painting was purchased for $28.453 million.

“Painting with White Lines” by Wassily Kandinsky

A native of Moscow, he traveled a lot with his parents throughout Europe as a child. In 1871 they stopped in Odessa, where young Vasily graduated from school and received art and music education.

“Painting with white lines”

Afterwards he went to study at the Faculty of Law of Moscow University. He graduated with a first degree diploma and was even sent to 2 years of study to prepare for a professorship and writing a dissertation. At that time he worked as the director of a printing house. But when will the pictures begin, you think.

Only at the age of 30, after visiting an impressionist exhibition, he decided to take up art. He breaks all ties with the university and leaves to study in Munich. Since then he began his career.

His “Painting with White Lines” was created in 1913. The artist was 47 years old at that time. It was 1913 that is considered the year of revolution in art and a change in attitude towards such a phenomenon as modern art.

"Stiff and Bent"

“Painting with White Lines” by Wassily Kandinsky was sold in 2017 for $41.8 million. This is much more expensive than Kandinsky's previous record: "Stiff and Bent" for 23 million.

"Suprematist Composition" by Kazimir Malevich

Born in Kyiv, Kazimir Severinovich Malevich attended the Kyiv Drawing School in his youth, and later moved with his family to Kursk. There he worked as a draftsman, while also painting.

"Suprematist Composition" by Kazimir Malevich

He twice tried to enter the Moscow School of Painting, but was twice refused. The move to Moscow happened only when his mother was able to find a job and rent an apartment for a huge family.

In Moscow, he continues to engage in art and begins to exhibit his works at relevant events.

“Suprematist Composition” was written in 1916, 9 years after moving to Moscow. Due to fortunate circumstances, this work was sent to Europe after 1920, where it captivated Western audiences.

In 2018, it was for $85.8 million. Despite the fact that 10 years earlier the seller purchased it at auction for 60 million. It is unknown who the buyer is. It ranks 16th on the list of the most expensive paintings in history.

"Orange, Red, Yellow" by Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko was born in Dvinsk, Vitebsk province in 1903. Now this city is called Daugavpils and is the second largest city in Latvia.

Mark is considered an American artist, because at the age of ten Mark and his family immigrated to the United States.

In 1921, Marcus entered Yale University and wanted to be an engineer. He will leave there in 2 years for unknown reasons (either he got tired, or he couldn’t raise money for his studies)

Mark then entered the New School of Design in New York and is already beginning his career as an expressionist artist.

The painting “Orange, Red, Yellow” was painted in 1961. It refers to color field painting. Mark is almost the founder of this kind of abstraction.

The painting is the most expensive piece of post-war art sold at auction. The buyer remains unknown.

Cost: $86.9 million. It ranks 14th in the list of the most expensive paintings in history.

The most expensive painting in history

The most expensive painting ever purchased at auction is “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo Da Vinci. The work has an amazing fate: many doubt that Da Vinci wrote it himself, but only took part and was a co-author.

The history of sales of the painting began when in 1958 it was bought at auction for 45 pounds, as the work of a student of Leonardo. The penultimate owner was oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who purchased it for $127.5 million. He sold it to the current owner, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, who paid $450.3 million for the work.

For comparison, Da Vinci's most famous masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, is insured for "only" $100 million.


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