- Salvator Mundi
- 450,312,500 US dollar(s)
- United States (New York)
The most expensive painting sold at auction is Salvator Mundi by Leonardi da Vinci, which sold for $450,312,500 (£342,148,000; €381,431,000), including buyer's premium, at an auction held by Christie's in New York, USA, on 11 November 2017.
The painting was included in Christie’s sale of "Postwar and Contemporary Art" at Rockefeller Center in New York, in the hope that it would appeal to the biggest art collectors. The seller, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, bought the painting in 2013 for approximately £77.3 million ($127.5 million; €92.6 million). The buyer, who bid by telephone, chose to remain anonymous. Over 1,000 art collectors, advisors, dealers and journalists were present at the auction, with thousand more tuned in via a live stream.
Some specialists believe that Leonardo originally painted the work for the French Royal family.The painting went missing from 1763 for over 150 years. Passing through the possession of several collectors over the centuries, the work was rediscovered in a small, regional auction in the United Sates in 2005. Prior to that, it was sold in 1958 at Sotheby's for £45 ($59), having been dismissed as a copy.
Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) was on show in an exhibition of Leonardo’s surviving paintings at the National Gallery, London, in 2011-12, confirming its acceptance as a fully autograph work by Leonardo da Vinci. However, there still remains speculation over the painting's origins, some specialists attributing the work as one of da Vinci's apprentices.
Nevertheless, the painting was presented as one of the greatest artistic discoveries of the 20th century.