The 24 most expensive photos that sold for millions

The 24 costliest images that offered for hundreds of thousands


Most of us shall be conscious that work can fetch tens, even a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}, however digital images might be simply as collectable and demand related costs at public sale.

Collectors will even pay large bucks to personal a chunk of {a photograph}: in February 2018, a bunch of 10 traders paid $1 million between them for a crypto-art photograph referred to as The Forever Rose, taken by Kevin Abosch. The Forever Rose is not a bodily photograph, however every investor acquired a “token” they’ll preserve or promote on.

But $1 million is pocket change in comparison with the sums paid for the pictures on this listing. So allow us to take you thru the 24 costliest images ever offered.

Kevin Abosch

Forever Rose (2018)

  • Photographer: Kevin Abosch
  • Sale Price: $1 milllion

Crypto-art is a type of digital paintings that’s seen to be uncommon and collectible. Artwork is bought on the blockchain; a digital ledger that offers with transactions made by Bitcoin or different types of digital foreign money. Kevin Abosch’s Forever Rose is the costliest piece of digital paintings ever offered.

Peter LikThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 3

Phantom (2014)

  • Photographer: Peter Lik
  • Sale Price: $6.5m (unverified)
  • Date of sale: December 2014

Australian photographer Peter Lik claims to carry the file for the costliest {photograph} ever offered: a staggering $6.5 million for his photograph Phantom. However the value has by no means been formally verified, as the client is “private and anonymous”.

There are additionally claims that Lik’s costs aren’t reliable, as he will increase the costs of his work (which he solely sells in his personal galleries) because the restricted variety of 995 decreases. His work is commonly considered to not be genuinely collectible by artwork critics, however he makes use of the strategy of hype-building to draw artwork novices with giant disposable incomes.

Andreas GurksyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 4

Rhine II (1999)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Sale Price: $4,338,500 (sale verified)
  • Date of sale: November 8, 2011

The costliest verified sale for {a photograph} belongs to Andreas Gursky, who offered his picture, entitled Rhine II, in 2011 for simply over $4.Three million. The picture is primary in a sequence of six and depicts a bit of the Rhine river, simply exterior Dusseldorf. Gursky has digitally eliminated surrounding buildings to go away the ultimate picture, making it really distinctive, as you will not be capable to get the identical view should you go to the river your self.

Spiritual America (1983)

  • Photographer: Richard Prince
  • Sale Price: $3,973,000
  • Date of Sale: May 12, 2014

The photograph Spritual America, by Richard Prince, depicts a ten-year outdated Brooke Shields, bare standing in a shower, so we’re not going to publish it right here. Prince did not take the unique photograph himself, however quite took an image of an image. The unique appeared within the softcore porn journal Sugar ‘n’ Spice, and was commissioned by Shields’ mom in an effort to spice up her profession from a younger age.

The title Spiritual America was additionally taken from one other piece of labor: {a photograph} of a workhorse taken by Alfred Stieglitz in 1923. The picture and title distinction in opposition to one another, evaluating laborious, sincere labour in opposition to what folks within the modern-day to attain fame and success.

Cindy Sherman/Courtesy of CHRISTIE’SThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 5

Untitled #96 (1981)

  • Photographer: Cindy Sherman
  • Sale Price: $3,890,500
  • Date of Sale: May 2011

Cindy Sherman took this picture of herself in 1981 and finally offered it to a New York vendor for $3,890,500. The photograph is a part of Sherman’s Centerfolds sequence from the identical yr. The sequence of images depicts Sherman in a number of stereotypical poses of the time, at all times wanting away from the lens and out of body.

Sherman was chargeable for all points of the images, together with make-up, hair, lighting, directing, modelling and photographing. The picture was offered once more in May 2012 for $2.89 million, making it concurrently the 12th costliest photograph ever offered.

Gilbert & GeorgeThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 6

To Her Majesty (1973)

  • Photographer: Gilbert & George
  • Price: $3,765,276
  • Date of Sale: June 30, 2008

Gilbert & George are Gilbert Prousch from San Martin de Tor, Italy and George Passmore from Plymouth, UK. They are not often seen in public with out the opposite and almost at all times put on fits that turned a “uniform” following their Singing Sculptures sequence. To Her Majesty, is a part of the pair’s Drinking Sculptures sequence and includes 37 particular person photos of them getting drunk, or about to begin consuming.

Jeff Wall/Courtesy of CHRISTIE’SThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 7

Dead Troops Talk (A imaginative and prescient after an ambush of a Red Army patrol, close to Moqor, Afghanistan, winter 1986) (1992)

  • Photographer: Jeff Wall
  • Sale Price: $3,666,500
  • Date of Sale: May 8, 2012

At first look, Jeff Wall’s picture appears to be of a real conflict scene, nevertheless it has really been staged in a studio with actors. It depicts Soviet troops coming again to life after being ambushed, a few of whom discover humor in dying, as they are often seen enjoying with their wounds. The thought behind the picture is to mix photos of conflict and horror films, with these of historical past work from earlier eras.

Wall was fascinated by outdated work when he was finding out artwork, however turned to images for his work as he felt it wasn’t potential for “modern artists to paint like the great masters”.

Andreas GurksyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 8

99 Cent II Diptychon (2001)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Price: $3,346,456
  • Date of Sale: February 2007

Andreas Gursky seems on the listing as soon as once more, this time for his 2001 photograph 99 Cent II Diptychon. The picture is a diptych, which refers to any picture or object in two elements, hooked up by a hinge and was taken in a 99 Cents Only retailer in America and depicts a number of purchasing aisles, nonetheless Gursky has manipulated the color to present the explosions of purple and orange. The photos are big, measuring 6.8ft x 11.1ft, and 6 units had been made.

MAN RAY/Courtesy of CHRISTIE’SThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 9

Noire et Blanche (1926)

  • Photographer: MAN RAY
  • Sale Price: €2,688,750 ($3,313,347)
  • Date of Sale: November 9, 2017

Man Ray, born Emmanuel Radnitzky, took this picture of Kiki de Montparnasse, his muse and lover, in 1926. It was printed within the Parisian model of Vogue journal on the time and depicts Kiki holding an African tribal masks.

The title, which interprets actually to ‘black and white’, refers not solely to the medium the picture was taken, however the comparability between the face of the mannequin and the masks. This picture was half of an entire sequence, through which Kiki is photographed in varied poses.

Andreas GurskyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 10

Chicago Board of Trade III (1999-2000)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Sale Price: $3,298,755
  • Date of Sale: June 26, 2013

Andreas Gursky was chargeable for one other of the world’s costliest images in 2013, with this picture – taken in 2000 – of the buying and selling flooring of the Board of Trade in Chicago. While the employees are already transferring frantically, giving the picture some movement blur, Gursky double uncovered some areas to additional improve the impression of motion. As along with his different photos discovered on this listing, Gursky has additionally manipulated the colors to make them extra vivid.

Richard PrinceThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 11

Untitled (Cowboy) (2000)

  • Photographer: Richard Prince
  • Sale Price: $3,077,000
  • Date of Sale: May 14, 2014

Richard Prince produced the Cowboy sequence of images in 2000. As along with his different work, this picture of a cowboy using a horse is a photograph, of a photograph. The unique picture was utilized in a Marlboro cigarettes advert Prince noticed in {a magazine} whereas working at Time Life.

He instantly knew he may change the connotations of the picture by eradicating the textual content and any affiliation to Marlboro. The ensuing picture is one among a tricky, rugged cowboy that was an emblem of American tradition.

Cindy ShermanThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 12

Untitled Film Still #48 (1979)

  • Photographer: Cindy Sherman
  • Sale Price: $2,965,000
  • Date of Sale: May 13, 2015

Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills sequence was made between 1977 and 1980, and this picture Untitled #48, is the costliest one to be offered from it. The sequence was created to point out fictitious feminine characters in photos that may very well be taken straight from movies.

As in her different works, Sherman poses within the picture herself and is chargeable for all of the staging. Untitled Film Still #48 was beforehand offered in 2014 for $2,225,000, making it the 18th costliest {photograph} of all time.

Getty Center, by way of Wikimedia CommonsThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 13

The Pond—Moonlight (1904)

  • Photographer: Edward Steichen
  • Sale Price: $2,928,000
  • Date of Sale: February 2006

The picture of The Pond – Moonlight that offered at public sale is just one of three, the opposite two are held in museums. Each one is exclusive because it was taken in 1904 utilizing a handbook technique of making use of light-sensitive gums to attain multiple color. Because the gums had been utilized by hand, every picture is barely totally different to the others.

Andreas GurskyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 14

Los Angeles (1998)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Sale Price: $2,900,000
  • Date of Sale: February 27, 2008

Another Andreas Gursky picture now, this time, his {photograph} of an evening time view of Los Angeles taken in 1998. The unique picture is over three and a half metres broad and clearly exhibits the curvature of the earth on the horizon. Many critics discover the composition of a relaxed, serene view of a bustling metropolis to be notably efficient.

Cindy ShermanThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 15

Untitled #153 (1985)

  • Photographer: Cindy Sherman
  • Sale Price: $2,770,500
  • Date of Sale: November 8, 2010

Another of Cindy Sherman’s visually beautiful self-portraits makes it onto the listing of costliest images ever. This time, Untitled #153, which depicts a blond girl laying in some grass, lined in mud. It’s not confirmed or completely clear, nevertheless it’s presumed she is lifeless. The picture takes inspiration from the femme fatale character of traditional movie noir.

Andreas GurskyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 16

Chicago Board of Trade (1997)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Sale Price: $2,507,755
  • Date of Sale: June 23, 2013

Andreas Gursky took images of the Chicago Board of Trade from varied vantage factors and launched every of them as particular person photos. While the third within the sequence offered for almost $3.Three million, the primary fetched simply over $2.5 million on the identical time. T

he picture is extremely just like the others, however is taken from a extra direct angle. While it would not fairly present the vastness of the buying and selling flooring in comparison with Board of Trade III, it nonetheless depicts the frantic nature of inventory buying and selling.

Andreas GurskyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 17

Paris, Montparnasse (1993)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Sale Price: $2,416,475
  • Date of Sale: October 17, 2013

Gursky took this picture of a high-rise constructing in Paris, Montparnasse in 1993. Like a lot of his different works, the unique print is sort of giant, measuring 2.1 x Four metres. The focus of the picture is of the condominium constructing, and by not exhibiting the place it ends on the sides of the body, leaves the viewer considering it might prolong for miles and miles.

Ben Wittick (1845–1903) (Brian Lebel’s Old West Show and Auction) [Public domain], by way of Wikimedia CommonsThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 18

Billy The Kid

  • Photographer: Unknown
  • Sale Price: $2,300,000
  • Date of Sale: June 2011

The solely recognized and authenticated {photograph} of infamous gunslinger Billy the Kid was offered at public sale in 2011 for $2.3m, making it the 17th costliest photograph ever offered. It’s nonetheless not recognized who took the picture, nevertheless it was allegedly given to Dan Dedrick by Billy the Kid himself, just for Dedrick’s descendants to inherit it.

The picture exhibits Billy the Kid, actual identify Henry McCarty and later William H. Bonney, holding a Winchester carbine rifle and with a Colt 45 pistol on his hip and was possible taken in 1879 or 1880. Bonney died in 1881 from a gunshot wound on the age of 21.

MAN RAY/Courtesy of CHRISTIE’SThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 19

Portrait of a Tearful Woman (1936)

  • Photographer: Man Ray
  • Sale Price: $2,167,500
  • Date of Sale: May 2017

It’s not recognized who the Tearful Woman in Man Ray’s 1936 picture is, nevertheless it displays his talent not solely as a photographer, however as a painter too. The picture of the girl was taken on a digicam, however Man Ray has used ink on sure areas: lips and eyes, to vividly improve them and to make them seem extra like drawings.

Cindy ShermanThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 20

Untitled #92 (1981)

  • Photographer: Cindy Sherman
  • Sale Price: $2,045,000
  • Date of Sale: November 12, 2013

Another of Cindy Sherman’s photos, Untitled #92 from the Centrefolds sequence, makes it into the listing of 24 costliest images ever. This time, Sherman has made herself as much as appear like a stereotypical college lady, with checkered skirt and white shirt. It may simply be mistaken for a nonetheless from a movie, notably one thing from Alfred Hitchcock, on account of her pure pose and a focus to element, corresponding to grime beneath her fingernails.

Andreas GurskyThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 21

Rhein (1996)

  • Photographer: Andreas Gursky
  • Sale Price: $1,925,000
  • Date of Sale: May 16, 2013

Gursky first launched a picture of the Rhein in 1996, which went on to promote for $1.9 million in 2013. This model has much less vivid colors than Rhein II and has been photographed utilizing a narrower area of view. However it employs related methods to Gursky’s record-setting second model, specifically the dearth of aspect body, making it seem as if it may go on perpetually.

Thomas StruthThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 22

Pantheon, Rome (1990-1992)

  • Photographer: Thomas Struth
  • Sale Price: $1,810,000
  • Date of Sale: May 15, 2016

Thomas Struth launched a sequence of photos within the early 90s depicting folks amongst well-known artworks, referred to as Museum Photographs. The most well-known picture from the sequence is that this one, of the Pantheon in Rome. In it, a bunch of tourists might be seen standing within the beam of sunshine coming by the oculus within the prime of the Pantheon, but Struth has intentionally omitted it from the picture.

This photograph was staged although, with Struth acquiring particular permission to shoot after hours, as to take this picture in the course of the day with the a whole lot of vacationers consistently coming by the doorways, would have been not possible.

Gilbert & GeorgeThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 23

Red Morning (Hate) (1977)

  • Photographer: Gilbert & George
  • Sale Price: $1,805,000
  • Date of Sale: November 12, 2013

Red Morning (Hate) is a part of Gilbert & George’s Red Morning sequence, which was made in response to the socialist motion in Britain in 1976 and 1977: suppose punk rock, police and firefighter strikes. It’s the one sequence of images the pair produced that sees them ditch their trademark tweed jackets, exposing their shirts. The use of purple is to indicate aggression and anger and an total extra highly effective picture than merely black and white.

Dmitry MedvedevThe 24 most expensive photos ever sold image 24

Tobolsk Kremlin (2009)

  • Photographer: Dmitry Medvedev
  • Sale Price: $1,750,000
  • Date of Sale: January 2010

Current Prime Minister and former President of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev claims the ultimate spot on this listing of costliest images ever offered. His black and white photograph of an aerial view of the Tobolsk Kremlin in Siberia fetched $1.75 million at public sale, nonetheless, some consultants say the excessive worth was paid extra for charity than for actual creative advantage. It was offered at an public sale that was a part of the fourth annual charity truthful Rozhdestvenskaya Azbuka (Christmas Alphabet), to Mikhail Zingarevich.

Henry Mitchell

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