PetaPixel

Gursky Photo of Rhine Sells for $4.3M, Becomes World’s Most Expensive Pic

Despite what you might think, this isn’t some random snapshot we found online — it’s actually the world’s most expensive photograph. Titled “Rhein II”, it’s a 1999 photograph by Andreas Gursky showing the Rhine river. Last night it sold for a whopping $4,338,500 at Christie’s.

Gursky has become quite the Midas of photographers: this is his second photo to claim the title of “world’s most expensive”, with the first being 99 Cent II Diptychon ($3.89M and now the 4th most expensive).

(via Christie’s via NSoP)


 
  • Ceeelo

    Well it’s all subjective and that is totall your unique opinion.

  • Randybarbear

    It is sad some body would pay 4.3 million much less a dime for it.  I looks as though a 5 year old took this picture.  For those who say it has great color, please see your eye doctor as soon as possible.  I have landscapes of Germany I will sell a hell of lot cheaper than that.

  • Anonymous

    There are not many comments for, and I certainly understand the majorities view here, but I think this controversy is exactly why this photo is worth the money. Granted it’s a paradox, but that is how the art world works sometimes. Gursky has made a name for himself because he is breaking rules and expectations of what can be considered art. Just as the abstractionists were equally controversial in their time, yet now widely accepted, Gursky is doing the same with photography.

  • Charles

    “Likewise, if it’s not captured on film, it is not art”. Forgive me that that’s just bollocks

  • Duke Shin

    hahahahahaha nope.

  • Duke Shin

    hahaha got it for free. right click-copy-paste lol. Just got it for $3.4 million less than some dumbass.

  • Duke Shin

    picasso sucks ass. my little brother could do better with a marker and paper. 

  • Duke Shin

    hahaha got it for free. right click-copy-paste lol. Just got it for $3.4 million less than some dumbass.

  • Duke Shin

    cant tell if trolling or just stupid.

  • Duke Shin

    This shows that people with money are not necessarily smarter than anyone else. This isn’t even a particularly good photograph. Because the photographer is “famous” some idiot with more cash than brains paid an obscene sum for it. spellchecklolol

  • Duke Shin

    saw it there too. it still sucks ass.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • Duke Shin

    Anyone want it for 4.3 million less? Right click, copy, paste, print.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7ULATYFPWI5BSPZB24UO7HFOVU James

    Great answer.  A picture 80 by 140 inches wouldn’t go well in most people’s homes anyway.  So an 8X10 on photo glossy paper would be fine.  Truthfully, I don;t see it as being a great picture anyway.  The colors are dull, the composition average, and the subject matter boring.  

    The attached picture was shot in 1975 on the Mogollon Rim in Arizona with an inexpensive 35MM SLR with Fugicolor ASA 400 film.  Prints are available a bargain prices.  When I become famous after I die (I’m 69, so it shouldn’t take more than 20 years or so), they are likely to appreciate sharply.  :D

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7ULATYFPWI5BSPZB24UO7HFOVU James

    FYI, spellcheck does not catch “tis” for “this” as they are both legitimate words.

    Also, you should have a space between “spellcheck” and “lol”.  Perhaps your spellchecker wasn’t working?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7ULATYFPWI5BSPZB24UO7HFOVU James

    All artists in whatever medium sometimes produce crap.  Most are ethical enough to discard them.  But when you can get millions for even your worst, some that care only about the cash and not the crap, will laugh all the way to the bank.

  • Lander

    I’ have seen this printed full size in a gallery – its huge and looked incredible.
    maybe not 4m worth but a stunning image, everyone looks at images on screen these days and its true any moron can use an iphone with hips or instagram. 
    I admire his work. so good luck to him (not that he needs it)
    A lot of these comments are form the majority of people who just dont get it – good photography that is…

  • http://www.sandiegofamilypictures.com Bob Olsson

    I think someone should point out the obvious: the emporer has no clothes, this snapshot has no artistic value

  • gregsoc

    If it has to choose who is to be crucified, the crowd will always save Barabbas.

  • Leetta

    I don’t get it.  It’s boring and nothing of interest in the picture.  What idiot paid that much money for it ?  I wouldn’t give him one dollor for it !  What a rip off !

  • Lizw

    It would seem that you are just as stupid to make such a comment. 

  • Pandalana

    I think the buyer was Stevie Wonder.

  • Laurenvictoriag

    This is art. Art is subjective. Is it worth more to all of us than an original ansel Adams photo? Probably not, but art isn’t made to please people. The lines are pleasing to the eye and someone found it worth 4 million. While we clearly don’t all believe that it is, we should appreciate others’ work and spend our money on what we deem is “worth it”. In other words, if you don’t like it, dont buy it.

  • cg

    i like it. it has a sort of Rothko effect.

  • Vladimir Chira


     the sad truth is that sometimes, there’s really nothing there… you’re chasing ghosts” How do you know?

  • James Dumont

    I think I might just drag this photo to my desktop and print it out and sell it for 1 million each, advertising “75% off!”

  • Pi gumon

    I honestly LOVE this photo.  I love how he was able to find a place where everything lines up into lines or rectangles.

    I think it’s ludicrous and pretty wrong that someone would pay more than $1,000 for any piece of art though, unless it’s going to charity. 

    I made this vector art in a sort of protest.  Feel free to download it.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/69832729@N05/6349728282/in/photostream

    The title is “Deutschmark”.

  • dom

    isn’t that offensive for a whole bunch of photomasters and their creative minds?

  • Arif

    ha ha well said

  • Arif

    river and two green river side…….that’s it……..$4.3million.I don’t get it.why is it so expensive? ……… to the purchaser i think u have a lot of money and don’t know where to spend please visit my site and by some “this” kind of picture.

  • Arif

    Picture is AWESOME but i don’t this picture is worth $4.3million

  • StevenRosas

    I second this!

  • George Explossion

    Very intersting after you get to understand the meaning behind it

  • Martin

    It’s bland and boring, I wouldn’t hang this on my wall unless I was being paid to. $4,338,500? We live in a crazy world, totally out the deep end.

  • Tyler Magee

    Its a shame becouse he has much much much better work in my opinion.