The Biggest Photography Sales in History

biggest photography sells

Photography is one of the most influential artistic methods in human history. The powerful impact photographs bring are so profound that even after two hundred years, it is still one of the most favored way of preserving any special moment. However, though it is a method to preserve the past, it is also a nice way to earn a living and many became overnight millionaires due to a large amount of their photography price. These are some of the biggest photography sales in history.

The Pond-Moonlight – Photograph price: $2.9 million

A photo taken by Edward Steichen in 1904 takes the fifth place in the list of biggest photography sales in history. It showcases a surreal shining moon in a murky and dark pond. The slow moving moon is the focal point of this image as it peeks-out ever so slightly at the middle. This photo was sold for $2.9 million.

99 Cent II, Diptychon – Photograph price: $3.3 million

The fourth place slot is held by a photo taken by Andreas Gursky in 2001. It is a colorful image of a fully-stocked grocery store. Its isles filled to the rim with all sorts of merchandise, creating a multicolored image. Reflections at the ceiling are also included in the frame making it a truly remarkable image to see. This photo was sold for $3.3 million.

Dead troops talk – Photograph price: $3.7 million

A macabre photo taken by Jeff Wall holds the third place spot in history’s most expensive photographs. This staged photo shows a group of dead soviet soldiers that seems to talk to one another after they have been killed during the soviet-afghan war, each reacting to their own death in a different way. It is a very powerful image portraying the cruelty and absurdity of war. This photo sold for $3.7 million.

Untitled #96 – Photograph price: $3.9 million

This is the second more expensive photograph ever sold in history. Cindy Sherman, the photographer, has managed to sell this “self-portrait” of her laying on the ground wearing an orange shirt and checked skirt in an auction for $3.9 million. It was once considered the most expensive photograph ever sold, until its place was taken by the current record holder.

Rhein II – Photograph price $4.3 million

The biggest photography sale in history is from the Andreas Gursky collection of photographs, which shows the river Rhine. This seemingly simple image of the river went down in history after it was bought in an auction for $4.3 million. It quickly became the most expensive, and now one of the most famous, photographs ever sold. Andreas Gursky was also the photographer of the 99 cent II diptychon, which holds the fourth place slot.


A picture is worth a thousand words. It is vividly proven by these simple photos of everyday life, but their silent words shout ever so loudly, making them worth more than what they appear to be. These photographs are among the highest priced pieces of art ever produced by human hands today.


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