It’s one of the most important things in life to surround yourself with art. But doing that can be an expensive affair, with many of the world’s most famous artists and paintings going for millions of dollars, which means you have to satisfy yourself with prints that you get framed in Munirka. 

But some paintings then again look so simple that most people look at them and say “I could do that!” And sometimes those paintings are so expensive you want to just say, “screw it, I’m a painter now.” Here are a few paintings that you think could’ve made you a fortune, if only you had made it. 

1. Untitled (1970) by Cy Twombly 


This painting, which essentially is scribbles on a chalk board went for as much as $69 million. Nice! 

2. Orange, Red, Yellow by Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko

Rothko was known as the king of abstract expressionism, and while this painting might look like swatches of paint anyone could make, it was auctioned at Christie’s for a eye watering $86 million. 

3. Black Fire 1 by Barnett Newman

Wikimedia Commons

This really might look like the artist isn’t even trying. Do you know how much this painting is worth? 84 million dollars! 

4. Blood Red Mirror


Don’t be confused. That is the painting. That painting is worth $1.3 million. Only. 

5. Peinture (Le Chien) by Joan Miró 

The Spanish Miró was well known for his childlike paintings, sculptures and other artworks. This painting of a dog (yeah right, you might scoff) was sold for $2.2 million in 2010. 

6. Untitled (Stoffbild) by Blinky Palermo

Elite Readers

This artist used a piece of cotton on burlap and painted two bands of solid colour of uneven height, one dark blue and the other, turquoise. This painting went for $1.7 million in 2010.

In defence of these artists and paintings though, it’s not the skill that they are judged on. It’s the thought behind them, the artist’s philosophy, history and place in the artistic canon. These paintings might be a different way of looking at and representing art on canvas. So anyone who says that “I could’ve done that”, I would like to remind them of one tiny fact they might have overlooked — you didn’t. And that’s kinda the point.