A Leonardo Da Vinci painting called Salvator Mundi or Saviour of the World recently went under the hammer and was sold for an astounding 450 million dollars. This amount broke the high for any art work sold at any auction. The record for most money fetched by any art work at an auction was held by Picasso's Women of Algiers. Da Vinci's painting far surpassed Picasso's, which fetched 179.4 million dollars in 2015. The bid for Salvator Mundi went on for 19 minutes, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room before it was finally sold for the whopping amount.
A report in New York Times mentions that the audience could not stop gasping as the price increased by tens of millions upto 225 million dollars, by fives upto 260 million dollars and then by twos. The auctioneer hammered the painting for 450 million dollars and eventually went for 450.3 million dollars, including the buyer's premium.
The auction house, Christie's says that Salvator Mundi is one of fewer than 20 Da Vinci paintings in existence currently. The rest of these paintings are either in the possession of museums or in institutional collections. Christie's even called the painting 'the Last Da Vinci'. Earlier, 27,000 people rushed in to catch a glimpse of the painting at pre-auction viewings in London, Hong Kong, San Francisco and New York.
The auction house dates the painting back to the 1500s. It was exhibited at The National Gallery in London in 2011, after years of research attempting to document its authenticity. Before that it had disappeared for years before being sold for 45 pounds in 1958 as a copy. It was presumed to have been destroyed before emerging in 2005.
Reports mention Loic Gouzer, co-chairman of Christie's Americas post-war and contemporary art department calling it the Holy Grail. "It doesn't really get better than that," he says.
(With agency inputs)