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Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' sells for all-time auction record $450M

Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' sells for all-time auction record $450M

Christie's senior specialist Alan Wintermute said witnessing the "masterpiece" appear at auction is "as close as I've come to an art world miracle".

The highest price paid for a work of art at auction had been $179 million, for Pablo Picasso's painting "Women of Algiers (Version O)" in May 2015, also at Christie's in NY. Pylkkanen said on the website for the auction house that it is every "auctioneer's" ambition to sell a painting made by Da Vinci.

To some extent, the auction house succeeded with the painting even before the sale, having secured a guaranteed $100 million bid from an unidentified third party.

There were gasps throughout the sale, as the bids climbed by tens of millions up to $225 million, by fives up to $260 million, and then by twos. The price hit $300 million about halfway through the bidding.

Christie's experts said the painting's rarity was hard to overstate, calling it the "Holy Grail" for auction specialists. The final bid was $400 million, but the sale price includes a premium paid to Christie's.

The 500-year-old oil on panel depicts Jesus Christ dressed in flowing robes and holding a crystal orb in his left hand.

Its path from Leonardo's workshop to the auction block at Christie's was not smooth.

Da Vinci Painting Sold For Only $100 In 1958 Smashes World Record After $450 Million Auction
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According to rumors, the Italian artist painted "Salvator Mundi" for the French royal family and it was taken to England by Queen Henrietta Maria when she married King Charles I in 1625.

"Leonardo was an unparalleled creative force and a master of the enigmatic". The artwork disappeared once again for nearly 50 years, leaving many scholars to believe it had been destroyed, until it resurfaced in 2005 when it was purchased at an American estate sale.

In 2011, the dramatic public unveiling of "Salvator Mundi" ('Savior of the World') in the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan at The National Gallery, London, caused a worldwide media sensation. It says it is the only painting by the Renaissance master in private hands.

Some experts question whether the painting is a real da Vinci.

4 - Three studies of Lucian Freud, a triptych by Francis BACON, was acquired in November 2013 for 142.4 million dollars, again at Christie's in NY. "We look forward to creating a similar sensation at Christie's sites worldwide over the next month, as we share what many call the "Male Mona Lisa" - with our global community of collectors, art historians and the public".

Svetla Nikolova, who's from Bulgaria but lives in NY, called the painting "spectacular". It was discovered in 2005 and underwent heavy restoration, according to the New York Times.

7 - Naked to the plateau the sculptor (also known as Nude, green leaves and bust) by PICASSO, has sold $ 106.4 million in may 2010 at Christie's NY.

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