Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for $450m at auction, smashing records
Salvator Mundi, the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, has sold at Christie’s in New York for $450.3m, including auction house premium, shattering the world record for any work of art sold at auction, the guardian reports.
The sale generated a sustained 20 minutes of tense telephone bidding as the auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen juggled rival suitors before a packed crowd of excited onlookers in the salesroom. At one point, Pylkkanen remarked: “Historic moment, we’ll wait” as the the bidding went back and forth, pausing at just over $200m as it rose to break the auction record.
At one point, a telephone bidder jumped in, pushing the price from $332m to $350m. The bidding then resumed: $353m, $355m. A jump to $370. A jump to $400m.