12th September 2007
It is easy to get carried away by news articles that say "record sale" but those articles don't take into account inflation. Inflation on average is 2% a year. This means that in 20 years the price of a can of coke will be 49% higher than it is today.
The same applies to art, in order to list the top ten most expensive paintings of all time you need to adjust the prices in accordance with inflation.
$142.7m Jackson Pollock, No. 5, 1948
$140.2m Willem de Kooning, Woman III
$137.6m Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I
$129.7m Vincent van Gogh, Portrait of Dr. Gachet
$122.8m Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bal au moulin de la Galette, Montmartre
$113.4m Pablo Picasso, Garçon à la pipe
$97.5m Vincent van Gogh, Irises
$97.0m Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar au Chat
$90.1m Vincent van Gogh, Portrait de l'artiste sans barbe
$89.1m Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II