7) Vincent van Gogh – Irises
Completed by the Dutch artist in 1889 at the asylum at Saint Paul-de-Mausole in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, France shortly before he died. This well-known work came up for auction in 1987, when it was sold by the son of Joan Whitney Payson to collector Alan Bond through Sotheby’s, New York. The painting went for $53.9 million, which when adjusted for inflation equals $97.5 million today. It is worth pointing out, however, that the buyer did not have enough money to ever pay the full bill, and eventually the piece was acquired by the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where it remains on display today.