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Wander Lord

Interesting on art, nature, people, history

Most expensive photos

Most expensive photos

Most expensive photos


Nowadays, most of us take a lot of pictures. But some photographers sell their images at a price comparable to the cost of the masterpieces of Renaissance masters.
Look at the most expensive photos in the history of photography.

One, 2000
Author: Peter Lik
Price: $ 1,000,000
One. Peter Lik

One. Peter Lik


The picture was taken on the Androscoggin River in the US state of New Hampshire. The author took just one picture, that’s why its price is so high.

Dovima with the elephants, 1955
Author: Richard Avedon
Price: $ 1,151,976

Dovima with the elephants. Richard Avedon

Dovima with the elephants. Richard Avedon


The picture Dovima with the Elephants was took special for one of Richard Avedon’s exhibitions. It was sold at Christie’s auction in 2010.

Georgia O’Keeffe, 1919
Author: Alfred Stieglitz
Price: $ 1,470,000

Georgia. Alfred Stieglitz

Georgia. Alfred Stieglitz


An American photographer and modern art promoter Alfred Stieglitz took an expressive picture of artist Georgia O’Keeffe in 1919. It was sold in February 2006 at Sotheby’s in New York.

Tobolsk Kremlin, 2009
Author: Dmitry Medvedev
Price: $ 1,750,000

Tobolsk Kremlin. Dmitry Medvedev

Tobolsk Kremlin. Dmitry Medvedev


Dmitry Medvedev was a Russian president, now he is a Prime Minister and a photographer. This photo was bought by an unknown collector.

Billy the Kid (Fort Sumner), 1879-80
Author: Unknown
Price: $ 2,300,000

Billy the Kid

Billy the Kid


The only surviving image of Billy the Kid was sold a few years ago in Denver for more than two million dollars. Billy the Kid was an American criminal who killed many people.

Chicago Board of Trade III. 1999-2009
Author: Andreas Gursky
Price: $ 2,355,597

Chicago Board of Trade. Andreas Gursky

Chicago Board of Trade. Andreas Gursky


It was sold in 2013. The photo depicts everyday life of Chicago Board of Trade. If we increase the picture we’ll see each character, working accessories, computer monitors and other details.

Untitled # 153 (1985)
Author: Cindy Sherman
Price: $ 2,770,500

Untitled # 153. Cindy Sherman

Untitled # 153. Cindy Sherman


It shows a dead woman with a muddy blue-gray hair: her glassy eyes stare at the sky, her mouth is half open, and there is a bruise on her cheek. The picture looks like a frame from Hitchcock’s film. It was sold in 2010.

The Pond – Moonlight, 1904
Author: Edward Steichen
Price: $ 2,928,000

The Pond - Moonlight. Edward Steichen

The Pond – Moonlight. Edward Steichen


Edward Steichen was an impressionist painter. He created a series of portraits of famous Hollywood celebrities. The Pond – Moonlight was one of the first color photos in history. It was sold at Sotheby’s auction in 2006.

Los Angeles, 1998
Author – Andreas Gursky
Price – $ 2,941,755

Los Angeles. Andreas Gursky

Los Angeles. Andreas Gursky


Gursky shows a night landscape of Los Angeles. The photo symbolizes the modern world and people’s place in it.

99 cent II, Diptych, 2001
Author: Andreas Gursky
Price: $ 3,346,456

99 cent II. Andreas Gursky

99 cent II. Andreas Gursky


It was bought in 2007 by Ukrainian businessman Victor Pinchuk. The photo depicts the supermarket.

Most expensive photos

Cowboy, 2001-2002
Author – Richard Prince
Price – $ 3,401,000.

Cowboy. Richard Prince

Cowboy. Richard Prince


Richard Prince is one of the most famous American artists of his generation. This picture was created special for Marlboro (cigarettes) ad campaign and was sold at Christie’s auction in 2007.

Dead Troops Talk, 1992
Author: Jeff Wall
Price: $ 3,666,500

Dead Troops Talk. Jeff Wall

Dead Troops Talk. Jeff Wall


This picture took by Canadian photographer Jeff Wall is a photo collage. It depicts Red Army soldiers during the Afghan war in 1986. Despite the realism, it’s a staged photography: all people in the picture are actors. Wall used make-up and costumes, and the picture was taken in a photo studio.

To Her Majesty, a collage (1973)
Authors – Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore
Price – $ 3,765,276

To Her Majesty. Gilbert and George

To Her Majesty. Gilbert Proesch and George Passmore


This picture was sold in 2008. The black-and-white photo depicts men in expensive suits and the interior.

Untitled # 96 (1981)
Author: Cindy Sherman
Price: $ 3,890,500

Untitled 96. Cindy Sherman

Untitled # 96. Cindy Sherman


American photo artist Cindy Sherman calls herself performance artist and refuses to recognize herself as a photographer. One of her most famous and expensive works is photo # 96, made in 1981. The picture shows a red-haired girl with freckles in a bright orange dress. It was bought at Christie’s auction in 2011 by an unknown collector.

Rhine II, 1999
Author: Andreas Gursky
Price: $ 4,338,500

Rhine II. Andreas Gursky

Rhine II. Andreas Gursky


Andreas Gursky is the famous German photographer and Professor. A lot of his photos were sold for a considerable sum. In 1999, he took a picture which depicts the Rhine River between two dams under gloomy rainy sky. In total, Gursky took six pictures of the Rhine, and the Rhine II is the largest photo in the series. The author used Photoshop to retouch it – there was a passer with a dog and power plant. The picture was bought for $ 4,338,500 at Christie’s auction in 2011 by the gallery of Monica Shpryut (Cologne). Later it was resold to an unknown collector.

Phantom, 1999
Author: Peter Lik
Price – $ 6.5 million

Phantom. Peter Lik

Phantom. Peter Lik


At the moment this photo is the most expensive in the world. In the picture we can see a ray of light which looks like a ghostly figure. It was taken by the photographer in a cave in Antelope Canyon, Arizona.

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