In Brief

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” Sells for Over $400 Million, Shattering All Art Auction Records [UPDATED]

Someone just snagged what they believe to be an original Leonardo for the highest amount ever paid for an artwork.

The buyers on the phone during the final stretch of bidding (GIF by the author for Hyperallergic)

Tonight, Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” sold for $400 million shattering art auction records ($450.3 million with fees). The buyer is still unknown.

Before today, the highest price paid for art at auction was Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger” (1955), which including fees went for $179.4 million, and the highest price paid in a private sale is believed to be Willem de Kooning’s “Interchange” (1955) at roughly $300 million.

Just a reminder that:

You get the picture, or rather, someone else did.

Leonardo da Vinci, “Salvator Mundi” (c.1500), oil on panel, 25 7/8 x 18 in.(65.7 x 45.7 cm) (image courtesy Christie’s)

UPDATED, Friday, November 17, 11:25am EDT: Christie’s has issued the following statement about the authenticity of the Leonardo painting:

While we welcome the level of interest in the work, it is important to note that all the leading active scholars on this artist and period have already supported the full authorship of this painting, which is why it was exhibited with full attribution to Leonardo da Vinci at the National Gallery in London in 2011. Christie’s stands behind the detailed cataloguing of the work of art, which includes a thorough assessment of attribution and condition. This is 500-year-old painting that evokes an array of emotions in those who see it in person; it’s a rare work of art that inspires so much interest, intrigue and excitement.

comments (0)