The world had its eyes on the auction of art masterpieces that were to be held at Christie’s, New York on November 15. The reason this auction had attention of art aficionados concentrated on it was the inclusion of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in it. The reserve price of the 500 year old masterpiece was decided at Rs.650,00,00,000 (INR equivalent of USD 1 million). And as the auction has concluded, the world is wondering how much the ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ has been sold for.
All the speculations about the worth of the painting have finally come to an end. Salvator Mundi the only painting available for purchase out of those completed by da Vinci in his lifetime has been sold for a whopping Rs.2941.5 crore (INR equivalent of USD450.3 million).
As the painting got sold for such a phenomenal price, it created a new world record for being the most expensive work of art sold at auction. The same was disclosed by Christie’s in a tweet.
— Christie’s (@ChristiesInc) November 16, 2017
The eye-opening price of Salvator Mundi is more than twice the price of previous record holding painting The Women of Algiers (Version 0) by Pablo Picasso that was sold for about Rs.1171 crore (INR equivalent of USD 179.4 million) in New York in 2o15.
While the masterpiece was being auctioned at Christie’s, the room full of about 1,000 spectators was rippling with applause and whoops. Within a few minutes of the beginning of the auction, the bids quickly mounted to an unchartered territory where only two rivals were competing over phone. And in a span of next few minutes, the painting was hammered at about Rs.2939 crore (INR equivalent of USD 450 million). The final price of Rs.2941.5 crore (INR equivalent of USD450.3 million) was arrived at after including the buyer’s premium.
Four years ago, Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev had bought the painting for about Rs.832,63,00,000 (USD 127.5 million) and is now suing a Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier after their disagreement over its price. For now, it is not clear as to what would be the impact of the sale on court proceedings.