A nude painting just sold in New York for a record-breaking $157 million — here are the 15 most expensive paintings ever sold

  • Sotheby’s New York broke its own sales record this week when it sold a painting for $157.2 million at auction.
  • The painting is by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani, titled “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche).”
  • The sale breaks the top 15 most expensive paintings ever sold via auction or private sale.

This week, Sotheby’s New York broke its own sales record selling Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)” for $157.2 million.

The work of art is Modigliani’s largest piece – measuring 58 inches across, it was a part of his 1917 exhibition that redefined the fine art nude.

During Monday’s Sotheby’s auction other historic works were also up for purchase including Picasso’s “Le Repos,” which sold for $36.9 million, as well as Claude Monet’s “Matinée sur la Seine.”

Modigliani’s “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)” breaks the top 15 most expensive paintings ever sold during auctions and private sales, hedging out Gustav Klimt’s “Adele Bloch-Bauer II,” which sold for $150 million in 2016 during a private sale via Larry Gagosian.

Below, take a look at the most 15 most expensive paintings that have sold during auctions or via private sales.


15. Jackson Pollock’s “No. 5, 1948” — $140 million

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Jackson Pollock/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: November 2, 2006

Price: $140 million

Type of sale: Private sale via Sotheby’s


14. Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” — $142.4 million

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Francis Bacon/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: November 12, 2013

Price: $142.4 million

Type of sale: Christie’s, New York, auction


13. Gustav Klimt’s “Adele Bloch-Bauer II” — $150 million

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Gustav Klimt/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: 2016

Price: $150 million

Type of sale: Private sale via Larry Gagosian


12. Pablo Picasso’s “Le Rêve” — $155 million

Date sold: March 26, 2013

Price: $155 million

Type of sale: Private sale


11. Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu couché (sur le côté gauche)” — $157.2 million

Date sold: May 14, 2018

Price: $157.2 million

Type of sale: Sotheby’s auction


10. Roy Lichtenstein’s “Masterpiece” — $165 million

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Roy Lichtenstein/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: January 2017

Price: $165 million

Type of sale: Private


9. Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu Couché” — $170.4 million

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Amedeo Modigliani/Public Domain

Date sold: November 9, 2015

Price: $170.4 million

Type of sale: Christie’s, New York, auction


8. Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (“Version O”)” — $179.4 million

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Pablo Picasso/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: May 11, 2015

Price: $179.4 million

Type of sale: Christie’s, New York auction


7. Rembrandt’s “Pendant portraits of Maerten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit” — $180 million

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Rembrandt/Public Domain

Date sold: September 2015

Price: $180 million

Type of sale: Private


6. Mark Rothko’s “No. 6 (Violet, Green and Red)” — $186 million

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Mark Rothko/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: August 2014

Price: $186 million

Type of sale: Private sale via Yves Bouvier


5. Pollock’s “Number 17A” — ~$200 million

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Jackson Pollock/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: September 2015

Price: ~$200 million

Type of sale: Private


4. Paul Gauguin’s “Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?)” — $210 million

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Paul Gauguin/Public Domain

Date sold: September 2014

Price: $210 million

Type of sale: Private


3. Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players” — $250 million

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Paul Cézanne/Public Domain

Date sold: April 2011

Price: $250 million

Type of sale: Private


2. Willem de Kooning’s “Interchange” — ~$300 million

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Willem de Kooning/Wikimedia/Fair Use

Date sold: September 2015

Price: ~$300 million

Type of sale: Private


1. Painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, “Salvator Mundi” — $450.3 million

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Attributed to Leonardo da Vinci/Public domain

Date sold: November 15, 2017

Price: $450.3 million

Type of sale: Christie’s, New York, auction