Most Famous Vincent Van Gogh Paintings
Most Famous Vincent Van Gogh Paintings

Most Famous Vincent Van Gogh Paintings

Invest in the art of the legendary Vincent Van Gogh. His most famous paintings Starry Night, Sunflowers, and Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet, have all fetched millions at auction.

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Vincent Van Gogh was an unstoppable artistic force. His vibrant works, from Starry Night to Sunflowers, are instantly recognizable and often command stratospheric prices. No one could deny the explosive use of color, texture, and form in Van Gogh's masterpieces—for each dazzling artwork, he carefully blended bold hues and chaotic swirls to drive emotion and powerful visuals in his viewers.

Who else could capture the motion of a starry night with a brush and a few thick strokes of paint? Van Gogh could make a run-of-the-mill potato eater appear full of life and vitality, while at other times portrayed a drab Dr. Paul Gachet with warmth and humanity—now that's talent.

And it's no wonder his works are so highly coveted and valued—because each brings with it not just a piece of the imagination, but a little bit of Van Gogh's one-of-a-kind genius.

The Starry Night painting has been highly esteemed for decades and its value has reached $100 million, following its $50 million sale in 1990.

Many investors are attracted to his artwork for its financial value. The most expensive of his original works Orchard with Cypresses sold for an impressive $117.2 million in November 2022. And the second most expensive Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet sold for an almost-as-amazing $82.5 million in 1990.

It's easy to see why many investors flock to purchase his works as they are beautiful, high-value pieces that rarely appear at public auctions, making them all the more desirable.

Between 1888 and 1890, Van Gogh painted around 35 self-portraits—each one more mesmerizing than the last. Van Gogh produced numerous artworks during his lifetime, and each bears an unforgettable uniqueness.

He has created some of the most recognizable pieces in art history, including the iconic The Starry Night (1889), estimated at between $70 million to $100 million. Laborer in a Field and Wooden Cabins among the Olive Trees and Cypresses sold for more than $70 million in 2017 and 2021, respectively.

Investing in Van Gogh’s paintings is an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio and enjoy the immediate benefit of legendary workmanship. The paintings not only offer stunning visual appeal but also embody something greater—an aesthetic representation of the creativity of mankind and its potential increase in value.

It’s no surprise that so many investors seek to purchase Van Gogh’s artwork for their portfolio.

Why are Vincent Van Gogh’s famous paintings so valuable?

Vincent Van Gogh dazzles us with his awe-inspiring oil paintings that evoke serenity and beauty. He masterfully captured the colors of nature, from the vibrancy of lush forests to the tranquility of starry skies.

With his use of a variety of mediums like chalk, pencils, charcoal, and a reed pen, as well as both natural and synthetic pigments, we're sure to produce extraordinary works of art.

Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portrait sold for $71.5 million in 1990 and is one of the most valuable artworks today with an estimated worth of over $120 million.

After being exposed to Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism in Paris, Van Gogh developed his own Post-Impressionist style, complete with a vivid color palette and innovative techniques. No matter the colors used, Van Gogh's works have taken the art world by storm and still hold a dear place in our hearts.

Even with just a few brushstrokes, he manages to capture the very emotion of his subjects. Then there's the fact that many of Van Gogh's paintings have either been destroyed or lost, rendering them dangerously rare. With such a finite supply of Van Goghs, collectors everywhere are eager to find a place in their gallery for these precious pieces of art.

Famous Vincent Van Gogh paintings to invest in

Ready to spice up your portfolio with something a little more daring? Then you're in luck. Van Gogh’s artwork is just the thing to diversify your investment portfolio and bring a bit of artful panache to your financial future.

What sets Van Gogh's works apart from the other renowned painters is his unique, captivating style. While his works may be highly experimental, they portray an intimate emotion that results in a captivating visual experience, transforming the painting into so much more than the individual elements depicted in it.

His most expensive painting, Orchard with Cypresses, sold for a record-breaking $117 million in 2022, but this isn't the only example of how lucrative his art is as other artworks are also worth millions of dollars.

About 10% of art investments increased in value over the last 50 years. Nowadays, the wealthy are increasingly investing in Van Gogh's works for their prestige and potential investment gains. The rarity of fine art makes Van Gogh's paintings desirable items.

But before you load up on Van Gogh, there are a few things to consider.

While experts suggest you reserve 10% to 20% of your portfolio for passion investments like this, the final decision is yours. So do some research, check out those art investment companies, online galleries, and websites—and be on the path to becoming a master of the art market.

In truth, investing in art can be risky business due to the volatility of the market and many other factors. But don’t worry, art investment funds and blue chip art are more secure and accessible options. Mintus and Masterworks are some of the best platforms to help you start your art investment journey.

Meanwhile, check out our list of some of the most famous Vincent Van Gogh paintings with high price values in the art market.

1. Starry Night (1889)

  • Price Range: Over $100 million (Priceless)
  • Highest Sale Price: $50 million 
  • Type: Oil on Canvas

Despite selling for a hefty $50 million in 1990, experts still believe that Van Gogh's Starry Night is priceless.

Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night oil painting is widely considered the artist's most celebrated work and the masterpiece of a generation. Since its creation in 1889, The Starry Night painting has gradually achieved immense popularity and fame. From a monetary perspective, it has seen tremendous success in the art market, both historically and recently.

Starry Night is full of color and emotion. It contains a bright moon painted with zinc yellow and Indian yellow, Venus, stars, hills, and the night sky. A village, church steeple, and houses are also shown.

The Starry Night painting has been highly esteemed for decades and its value has reached $100 million, following its $50 million sale in 1990. The painting has fetched high prices in the past, with numerous auction house sales reaching millions of dollars.

Van Gogh’s sister-in-law Jo Van Gogh-Bonger first managed Van Gogh's paintings after his death, selling or loaning out some of his paintings to various buyers and exhibitions over the years. The Museum of Modern Art in New York eventually purchased the painting in 1941.

The Starry Night is esteemed owing to its intricate layering and highly emotive styling. The painting exemplifies Van Gogh’s signature style and its unique portrayal of both stunning serenity and chaos in one painting. This makes it universally sought-after and acclaimed. 

Modern-day market dynamics indicate a sustained interest in Van Gogh's The Starry Night. Recent exhibitions of reproductions of the painting receive large amounts of attention and record attendance. The reproductions are also sold for high prices, showing the public's interest and investment in the quality and subject of Van Gogh's work.

2. Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers (1888)

  • Price Range: $81.5 million to $100 million
  • Highest Sale Price: $39.7 million 
  • Type: Oil on Canvas

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers by Van Gogh sold for approximately $40 million but is worth several hundred million dollars today.

Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers is one of Vincent Van Gogh’s most iconic and sought-after still life paintings, valued at over $80 million thanks to its exquisite design and impressive history.

Van Gogh created the Sunflower series in 1888 while staying with his friend Paul Gaugin in Arles, France. This painting features a simple rough vase with a large sunflower bouquet laid out on a surface. Van Gogh used an impasto technique, applying different hues of yellow colors with a brush, palette knife, and a knife.

The painting is simple yet complex with the bright yellow colors layered to create a highly distinctive three-dimensional effect. The oversized sunflower blooms almost seem to be leaping off the canvas as the thick strokes of paint give the painting a life-like texture. This makes it seem as if the flowers are swaying to the beat of the wind.

In March 1987, Japanese insurance tycoon Yasuo Goto made history when he paid the equivalent of $39.9 million for Sunflowers at Christie’s London—a record-breaking amount for a work of art at the time. A few months later, Alan Bond purchased Van Gogh’s Irises for $53.9 million at Sotheby's New York, setting a new record for the most expensive painting ever purchased at auction.

In 2018, the current estimated value of Sunflowers is thought to be over $80 million—although some experts reckon it could fetch several hundred million dollars if put up for auction.

It’s no wonder Sunflowers are so highly sought after—the sheer beauty in its design coupled with its colorful and incredible history make it an invaluable asset. So, if you’re in the market for a collector's item and have some cash to spare, why not invest in Van Gogh’s Sunflowers? It might just be worth it in the long run.

3. Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet (1890)

  • Price Range: $120million to $146.2 million
  • Highest Sale Price: $82.5 million 
  • Type: Oil on canvas

In 1990, Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Paul Gachet (1890) sold at auction for $82.5 million to Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito.

The Portrait of Dr. Gachet by Vincent Van Gogh is a masterpiece, and it's easy to understand why. Painted in 1890, the portrait was the product of Van Gogh's admiration for his homeopathic doctor, Dr. Paul Gachet. Vincent Van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo Van Gogh about Dr. Gachet while he stayed in the asylum, expressing his initial dislike for the doctor, but later had a good relationship with him.

This painting pays homage to the caring relationship between a doctor and his patient, and it exquisitely captures the doctor's solemn state of mind.

Originally, there were two versions of the portrait and they both show Dr. Gachet at a single red table, elbow resting on the furnishings. Also, visible artifacts including books, digitalis, and the purple foxglove are shown in the painting emphasizing Gachet's profession as a physician. However, both portraits differ from each other in etching, style, and color.

The first version of Portrait of Dr. Gachet was sold at auction in 1990 for an impressive $82.5 million to a Japanese businessman Ryoei Saito. Its value was reaffirmed as the most expensive painting until 2006. While the other version of the painting was gifted to Dr. Gachet and hung at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the home of the original painting.

The value of this painting lies in its historical worth as it depicts Van Gogh's struggle with his mental health and admiration of his doctor. The portrait possesses a unique and revolutionary design and an impressive homage to Dr. Paul Gachet whom he viewed as a friend.

4. Orchard Bordered by Cypresses (1888)

  • Price Range: Over $100 million
  • Highest Sale Price: $117 million
  • Type: Oil on canvas

Van Gogh's Orchard Bordered by Cypresses (1888) is worth over $100 million and was sold for $117.2 million in 2022, one of the highest prices paid for a Van Gogh painting.

Orchard with Cypresses is an 1888 oil painting by Van Gogh and is one of his most famous works. It was part of the $1.5 billion art collection of Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. On November 10, 2022, the painting was sold at auction by Christie's New York branch for $117.2 million, the highest amount paid for a work by the artist in recent times.

The painting captures the landscape in the spring of 1888 and features a richly vibrant color palette that includes blues, greens, and reds. It depicts an orchard surrounded by the signature shape of cypress trees.

Van Gogh was fascinated with the shape of the trees and used curled brushwork to translate a scene of breathtaking beauty on the canvas. This showcases the painting's importance within the artist's career, as well as its importance to the art world.

Overall, the striking beauty and design expertise of Orchard with Cypresses coupled with its immense price tag embodies the value of the painting. It’s an iconic work of Van Gogh and its ascribed worth of over $100 million makes it an important addition to the art world.

The painting will be displayed at the Van Gogh Cypresses exhibition, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from May to August 2023.

5. Laborers in the Field (1889)

  • Price Range: $50 million to $80 million
  • Highest Sale Price: $81.3 million
  • Type: Oil on canvas

Van Gogh's Laborers in the field (circa 1889 or 1890) was sold for $81.3 million to a private buyer in November 2017.

Laborers in the Field is an impressive piece of art that is both valuable and infamously expensive. Vincent Van Gogh created it during his stay at the asylum near Saint Rémy de Provence. The painting was inspired by the view from his room and depicts a laborer plowing the soil in a wheat field.

The field was painted with short yellow and blue strokes, creating a seascape-like nature and a sense of movement. The laborer, but a simple man, stands amid the natural environment in all its powerful beauty. It’s this restrained yet captivating beauty that has marked Laborers in the Field with a hefty price tag.

Laborers in the Field was previously owned by the billionaire couple Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass before it was sold to Christie’s Asia president Rebecca Wei on behalf of a client for $81.3 million.

6. Wooden Cabins Among Olive Trees and Cypresses (1889)

  • Price Range: $40 million to $70 million
  • Highest Sale Price: $71.3 million 
  • Type: Oil on canvas

Van Gogh's Wooden Cabins Among the Olive Trees and Cypresses sold for $71.3 million in 2021.

Wooden Cabins Among Olive Trees and Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh is an incredible and valuable masterpiece. Painted in October 1889, this painting was the pinnacle of Van Gogh's Provençal oeuvre, combining his favorite motifs of olives and cypresses with sweeping lines and impastoed colors.

Since its inception, the painting has had quite a journey, changing hands from artist to artist and finally landing in the hands of William Cox in 1982.

After years of being part of the Cox collection, the dazzling artwork with its stark and sun-filled sky finally found a home in the collection of Hugo Nathan, co-founder of the art consulting firm Beaumont Nathan, in November 2020.

In this monumental auction put on by Christie’s, the painting sold for $71.3 million, far beyond its estimated value and making it the most expensive work to every pass through the auction house at the time.

Revered for its emotive expression of Van Gogh's mature artistic style a century later, Wooden Cabins Among Olive Trees and Cypresses is a quintessential work by the 19th century Dutch painter. Its intricate details paired with its impressive sales history make it an exceptional work of art and an invaluable asset.

7. Avenue of Les Alyscamps (1888)

  • Price Range: $18 million to $40 million 
  • Highest Sale Price: $66 million
  • Type: Oil on canvas 

Van Gogh’s The Avenue of Les Alyscamps (1888) was sold for $66 million in 2015.

Avenue of Les Alyscamps has been deemed a valuable artwork for decades since 1888. It was painted in Arles, France, and is one of Van Goghs’s most well-known works, especially for being one of the first he made following his nine-week stay with Paul Gauguin in Arles.

The painting holds a strong visual impact characteristic of Van Gogh's later expressive style. It depicts an ancient Roman necropolis in Arles, France—the L’allée des Alyscamps—with stone sarcophagi and towering poplars.

It includes a dramatic V-shape formed through the centrally converging rows of poplar trees. On top of this, blazing orange-yellow is used for the poplar foliage to emphasize the verticality of the canvas. Even the necropolis where the artist set up his easel to paint the Avenue of Les Alyscamps is detailed in the artwork. It’s no wonder the painting is so valuable given the story behind it.

Avenue of Les Alyscamps has held its place in art history for many years. Its distinctive visual style, detailed context, and the famous artist behind it are all factors that contribute to its considerable worth.

Avenue of Les Alyscamps sold at Christie's in 2003 for $11.7 million and was later resold at Sotheby's for $66 million in 2015—a 5x ROI. The contest at Sotheby's auction further attests to its value and will continue to be one of the major highlights of Van Gogh's artwork for years to come.

8. Irises (1889)

  • Price Range: $54 million to $128 million
  • Highest Sale Price: $54 million 
  • Type: Oil on canvas

In 1987, Van Gogh’s Irises was sold for $54 million, setting a price record that lasted over two years.

Irises is one of the most beautiful and captivating still life paintings and has been renowned as an iconic Vincent Van Gogh artwork. This masterwork was created in 1889 while Van Gogh stayed in the Saint Paul de Mausole asylum in Saint Rémy de Provence, France.

Van Gogh painted Irises using the Japanese Hokusai technique to create a sense of movement and depth in the flowers. He also added orange marigolds as a background to draw the eye. This captivating combination of vibrant blue-violet irises and crimson soil is emphasized by its closely cropped frame.

However, Irises is more than just a beautiful painting—it’s a record-breaking masterpiece. In 1987, it became the most expensive painting ever sold, a record which lasted for two and a half years. It was sold for approximately $54 million to Alan Bond.

Irises were later re-sold in 1990 to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The first public sale of the painting was in 1947 for $84,000, and it ultimately found its way to the Getty museum where it continues to delight viewers today.

The value of Irises is not only seen in its monetary worth, but also in its design and artistry. Vincent Van Gogh's use of Japanese art wood-block influence, unique angles, upfront views, strong lines, and vibrant colors have solidified this painting's place in art history. It's no wonder it was sold for such a high price.

Are artworks Vincent Van Gogh painted good investments?

When investing in Van Gogh’s paintings, it’s important to consider factors that can impact their price. Some of these factors include the painting’s condition, the artist’s reputation, the painting’s provenance, market volatility, and the overall demand for the work.

The good news is, investing in Van Gogh's paintings can be a great way to make money over time as his works have often appreciated in value by fetching higher and higher prices at auctions and private sales.

Van Gogh’s Poppies and Daisies (1890) sold for $62 million at Sotheby’s New York on November 4, 2014.

For those with capital, buying Van Gogh's artwork from auction houses is a legitimate option. Investors with smaller budgets can access the same assets through platforms like Mintus and Masterworks which let you purchase shares of art.

Art investment is a long-term venture, and the art market dynamics have remained stable despite the recent economic climate. Print and digital art are also increasingly popular and highly demanded.