The ability to sell a painting for millions of dollars is not as easy as it looks, hence the overwhelming amount of "starving artists."

Long gone artists seem to be able to sell their paintings for so much more than any living artist, yet Arab paintings have been pushing their way into the art market and growing in popularity over the past decade.

Here are eight of the most expensive Arab and Islamic paintings to ever be sold:

1. Break of the Atom and Vegetal Life

This painting from 1962 by Turkish-Jordanian artist Princess Fahr El-Nissa Zeid, sold for a record-breaking $2.74 million. Although it's the most expensive painting created by an Arab to ever be recorded, the painting fell short of the original estimated selling price, which was between $3 million - $4 million.

2. The Whirling Dervishes

The second most expensive Arab painting is labeled “The Whirling Dervishes,” and was painted in 1929 by Egyptian artist Mahmoud Said. It was sold for an astounding $2.54 million at Christie’s auction house in 2010.

3. Les Chadoufs

Also by artist Mahmoud Said, the painting Les Chadoufs from 1934 was sold at auction for $2.43million, exceeding its pre-sale estimated price of $150,000 - $200,000 by a mile.

4. Tchaar-Bagh

Painted in 1981 by Iranian painter and sculptor Charles-Hossein Zenderoudi, Tchaar-Bagh was sold for around $1.6 million at Christie’s 2008 international auction in Dubai.

5. He Is The Merciful

A relatively new painting from 2007 made by Iranian artist Mohammed Ehsai, “He Is The Merciful” was sold only a year later for around $1.16 million, although it was originally estimated to sell for about $100,000 - $150,000.

6. The Rukh Carries Amir Hamza to his Home

Dated back to the mid 16th-century, "The Rukh Carries Amir Hamza to his Home" is an Islamic painting and illustration found in "Hamzanama" (The Adventures of Hamza), which is attributed to Daswant (Dasavanta) in collaboration with Shravan (Sharavana) from Mughal, India. 

Amir Hamza was an uncle of the Prophet Muhammed and the illustration is one of the few that survived over the years. It was sold at auction for approximately $1.14 million and would have sold for even more had it been in better condition.

7. Sarajevo

Painted in 1992 and sold for $1.14 million in 2016 at the Now and Ten auction in Dubai, the painting “Sarajevo” by Egyptian contemporary artist Omar El-Nagdi captures the essence of pain and is deemed "the most expressive documentation of life" by Middle Eastern Art specialist Masa Al-Kutoubi.

8. Construction of the Suez Canal

The “Construction of the Suez Canal” is by Egyptian painter Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar and was created in 1965. The painting cost its buyer $1.02 million on March of 2014. El-Gazzar has become one of the most iconic Egyptian artist to have lived since 1945.