World’s Highest Priced Prints

The popularity of photography in the art market has grown extensively over the past two decades. In 1999 the highest amount paid for a photograph was  $838,000. Four years later there was an auction sale of $922,488, and then again 2 years later when the first million-dollar photograph was sold for $1,248,000.

Sold at Christie’s New York in November 2011: $4,338,500

Andreas Gursky is by far the most successful photographer when it comes to selling the most expensive photographs at auction (with 9 prints selling for over $1 million), followed by Cindy Sherman, who is the most successful female photographer to sell at auction (with 7 lots selling for more than $1 million).

Sold at Christie’s New York in May 2015: $2,965,000

The overwhelming majority of these photographs were created via analog cameras, suggesting that film photography is considered far more valuable than digital. The most recent image to have been captured in the list is Tobolsk Kremlin, a digital print from Dmitry Medvedev, taken in 2009, and the oldest is Joseph Philibert Girault de Prangey’s Daguerreotype 113 Athenes, Temple de Jupitercaptured in 1842. These photographs were taken 167 years apart.

One of the most recent additions to the ultimate list was the 2017 sale of Orphaned Cheetah Cubs, Mweiga, near Nyeri, Kenya, March 1968 by Peter Beard, which sold for over $672,000 at Christie’s New York on 10th October 2017 in the ‘Photographs Including Property from the Museum of Modern Art’ auction. Though it did not break into the top 20, it was by far one of the most expensive photographs to sell this year.The overwhelming majority of these photographs were created via analog cameras, suggesting that film photography is considered far more valuable than digital. The most recent image to have been captured in the list is Tobolsk Kremlin, a digital print from Dmitry Medvedev, taken in 2009, and the oldest is Joseph Philibert Girault de Prangey’s Daguerreotype 113 Athens, Temple de Jupiter captured in 1842. These photographs were taken 167 years apart.