How much would you be willing and able to pay for an original painting by one of the most famous artists in the world? Today the most respected art pieces, when they do come up for sale, are generally sold by auction. And as some recent auctions reveal, many times the bidding far exceeds the expected price. Here are some of the most noteworthy art auctions, as well as a few private sales, that have occurred in recent years. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list, but rather a sampling of 10 of the most expensive painting sales.