“Nafea Faa Ipoipo”
Paul Gauguin’s 1892 oil painting was sold in 2015 for nearly $300 million in a private deal brokered by a retired Sotheby’s executive. The buyer hasn’t been named, though reports indicate the Qatar Museum is the new owner.
“The Card Players”
Oil-rich Qatar also takes second place on the list after the royal family paid $259 million in 2011 to buy one of five versions of modern artist Paul Cézanne’s 1892-1893 painting of two commoners playing cards.
In a 2013 private sale, billionaire hedge fund manager Steven Cohen purchased Pablo Picasso’s 1932 painting for $155 million from casino owner Steven Wynn. The deal would have happened years earlier, and for $16 million less, but Wynn accidently ripped the canvas and the deal was on hold during the repair.
“Three Studies of Lucian Freud”
Christie’s New York sold Francis Bacon’s triptych for $142.4 million in 2013 to Elaine Wynn, a co-founder of the casino and the former spouse of Steven.
“No. 5, 1948”
Business magnate David Geffen reportedly sold the 4×8-foot Jackson Pollock painting through Sotheby’s for $140 million in 2006 to Mexican financier David Martinez.