A rare Leonardo da Vinci painting has shattered the record for art sold at auction or privately after selling for $450 million on Wednesday.
The new world record holder is Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (Latin for “Savior of the World”) and is one of fewer than 20 paintings by the artist that is known to exist. The painting depicts Jesus Christ in Renaissance garb.
The highest price previously paid for a work of art at auction was $179 million for Pablo Picasso’s painting “Women of Algiers (Version O)” in May 2015, while the highest private sale amounted to $300 million for Willem de Kooning’s painting “Interchange” in September 2015.
Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev purchased Salvator Mundi for $127.5 million in 2013 and has now successfully flipped it for an insane profit only four years later.
Christie’s auction house capitalized on the hype by dubbing the painting “The Last da Vinci” and exhibiting the work in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York before the sale in NYC.
New York, where no museum owns a da Vinci, was particularly excited as art lovers came out in droves to line up outside Christie’s Rockefeller Center headquarter to view Salvator Mundi.
Twitter, of course, had one or two things to say about the sale and we’ve picked out the best reactions below.
There were the jokesters
And those that believe art belongs in a museum
Some were kind of angry
While others could see the motive behind it
Even ol’ Bill Shakespeare had his say
In other design news, here’s where you can buy Apple Park’s $2,500 Hiroshima chairs.
- Main & Featured Image: Christie’s