Sold by Sotheby's for $151.2 million US dollars in 2006. At the time, this was the most ever paid for a painting.
9. Campbell's Soup Cans - Andy Warhol
Campbell's Soup Cans depicts the 32 varieties of Campbell's soup available in 1962 when it was painted and is credited with introducing Pop Art to the United States. Reportedly the artist liked soup.
8. Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe (Self-portrait without beard) by Vincent Van Gogh
Van Gogh painted a extensive series of self portraits but this painting of himself after shaving is the most famous. Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe sold in 1998 for $71.5 million making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.
7. The Persistence of Memory - Salvador Dali
The Persistence of Memory has been called a Surrealist meditation on the collapse of our notions of a fixed cosmic order.
6. Café Terrace at Night by Vincent Van Gogh
Café Terrace at Night depicts a mid September night in 1888 in Arles, France. The site where Van Gogh set up his eisel has become a popular tourist spot and the area looks much the same as in Van Gogh's day.
5. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Jan Vermeer
The Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of Dutch painter Johannes
Vermeer's masterworks. It is sometimes referred to as the "the Dutch Mona Lisa". Unfortunately, very little is known about Vermeer's works such as the identity of the girl in this portrait.
4. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre Auguste Renoir
Depicts a group of Renoir's friends relaxing on a balcony at the Maison Fournaise along the Seine river in Chatou, France. Renoir's future wife (Aline Charigot) appears in the foreground playing with a small dog.
Actor Edward G. Robinson (who often played mobsters in his films) is quoted as saying: “For over thirty years I made periodic visits to Renoir's Luncheon of the Boating Party in a Washington museum, and stood before that magnificent masterpiece hour after hour, day after day, plotting ways to steal it."
3. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
The Kiss depicts a couple in shades of gold and symbols sharing a kiss against a bronze background. Klimt was 45 years old and still living at home with his mother and two unmarried sisters when he painted it. Despite this innocent facade Klimt had many lovers and fathered at least three illegitimate children. The Kiss is considered to be an expression of eroticism and the liberation of the self.
2. Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh
In several letters Van Gogh indicated he was not happy with The Starry Night and certainly did not think it was his best work. Despite this, it has become one of his most acclaimed and famous. It is a painting of the night view outside his sanitarium window in Arles, France.
1. Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci
The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting of all time and one of the most iconic images ever created. She was painted by Leonardo da Vinci at the height of the Renaissance in Italy. The work is owned by the government of France and is on display in the Louvre in Paris. Mona Lisa's smile has long been a subject of fascination and many people feel it indicates she is hiding a secret.
Mona Lisa has a rich and interesting history. It once hung in
Napoleon's bedroom, it was stolen but recovered in 1911, it has been vandalized at least twice and it has been unsuccessfully attacked on various occasions. Despite all this, the painting remains in very good condition due to numerous painstaking restorations over the centuries.