Masterpieces by well-known artists are often sold for millions and therefore provide a nice pocket money for the seller. But some stand head and shoulders above the rest. These five paintings by Dutch artists brought in the most money.
5. Portrait of dr. Gachet (1890) by Vincent van Gogh – €135 million
This portrait is the most expensive Van Gogh (1853 – 1890) that was once sold and was painted a few months before his death. The painting was bought in 1990 by the eccentric Ryoei Saito, a Japanese paper magnate, for €82.5 million. Saito died and he had shouted that the painting should be cremated with him, to avoid problems with inheritance rights. Fortunately, this wish was never fulfilled and the Van Gogh has been preserved. The painting was eventually sold to the Austrian Wolfgang Flöttlen, who is rumoured to have paid €135 million for the painting. However, this has never been confirmed.
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3. Wedding portraits of Marten Soolmans and Oopjen Coppit (1634) - €172 million
The wedding portraits of Marten and Oopjen are the largest portraits Rembrandt ( 1606 – 1669) ever painted: life-size, standing and full-length. At that time, such paintings were only intended for the highest European nobility. Marten Soolmans paid 500 guilders for the portraits at the time. Nowadays it's worth a little more. The portraits were in the hands of the world-famous Rothschild banking family until 2015. The portraits were purchased that year by both the Dutch and French states for €172 million, with the aim of having them exchange between the Rijksmuseum and the Louvre. The portrait of Oopjen is owned by France and Marten van Nederland. Other conditions are that the portraits may never be separated and may not be loaned to other museums.
Photo: The Rijksmuseum
2. The Standard Bearer (1936) by Rembrandt van Rijn - €175 million
The Standard Bearer is one of the masterpieces of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1669) and is a self-portrait of the artist. Brief history lesson: standard-bearers were ahead of the troops in the Eighty Years' War, which led to the birth of the Netherlands. The Standard Bearer is seen as Rembrandt's breakthrough, which would lead to The Night Watch. This Rembrandt caused quite a commotion in politics and society last year. During the coronavirus pandemic, the painting was bought for €175 million, of which €150 million was paid by the State, €15 million by the Rembrandt Association and €10 million by the Rijksmuseum Fund. These paintings were also in the possession of the Rothschilds, who had owned them since 1844. Before that, it was in the hands of the English king, among others. Photo: The Rijksmuseum
1. Interchanged (1955) by Willem de Kooning - €270 million
De Kooning sold Interchanged, which was one of the artist's first abstract landscapes, in 1955 for €3,600. In 1989, the painting was sold for around €19 million. The pinnacle occurred in 2015, when hedge fund manager Ken Griffin paid €270 million for the painting. In total, it ranks second among the most expensive paintings ever sold.
The most expensive painting ever sold is Salvator Mundi (circa 1500) by Leonardo Da Vinci, which changed hands in 2017 for an amount of €390 million.
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