Leonardo da Vinci painting recently discover to be an original. It was sold for a record-pulverizing $450 million in New York Wednesday night.
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” has become the most expensive artwork to ever sell at auction. It is going for $450.3 million at Christie’s in New York. Dating back to around 1500 the rare painting is one of fewer than 20 authenticated works by the Italian in existence.
Original estimates for Leonardo da Vinci painting
Original estimates predict bids of over $100 million for the piece. But the new record set after approximately 20 minutes of telephone bidding. Far surpassing the previous auction record held by Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger,” which sold for $179.4 million in 2015.
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought it for $127.5 million in 2013.
Some still doubt the work’s authenticity, claiming it is too boring to be a Leonardo masterpiece.
“Even making allowances for its extremely poor state of preservation. It is a curiously unimpressive composition. And it is hard to believe that Leonardo himself was responsible for anything. So dull,” said Charles Hope, a professor emeritus at the Warburg Institute at the University of London.
However, four years ago, a Russian buy collector for $127.5m (£98m). But that was a private sale not at auction.
Christie’s in New York place a starting bid of $100m at its auction of post-war and contemporary art.