Da Vinci painting depicting Christ sells for $450 million in auction

A 500-year-old work of art -- believed to be by Leonardo da Vinci and depicting Jesus Christ -- sold in New York on Wednesday for $450.3 million, smashing a new art auction record, Christie's said.

Last da Vinci

The price throws shade at its Russian billionaire seller, who has sued a Swiss art dealer in Monaco for allegedly swindling him into parting with $127.5 million for the work in 2013.

Dmitry Rybolovlev, the boss of soccer club AS Monaco, accuses Yves Bouvier of conning him out of hundreds of million dollars by overcharging him on a string of deals, and pocketing the difference.

"Salvator Mundi" at been at the heart of that court battle.

(Photograph:AFP)

Most expensive art auction

Agents celebrate after buying the auction of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" during the Post-War and Contemporary Art evening sale at Christie's on November 15, 2017 in New York City.

The rediscovered masterpiece by the Renaissance master sells for an historic $450,312,500, obliterating the prevous world record for the most expensive work of art at auction.

(Photograph:AFP)

Salvator Mundi

The auction house says "Salvator Mundi" or "Savior of the World" is one of fewer than 20 Da Vinci paintings in existence that are generally accepted as from the Renaissance master's own hand.

Dated back by the auction house to around 1500, the oil on panel sold after 18 minutes of frenzied bidding in a historic sale, the star lot of the November art season in the US financial capital.

(Photograph:AFP)

Final call at $450 million

Christie's auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen signals the final auction bid for Leonardo da Vinci?s "Salvator Mundi" at Christie's New York on November 15, 2017.

He eventually hammered the painting at $450 million. The final price came to $450.3 million including the buyer's premium.

(Photograph:AFP)

Christie's employees take bids for Leonardo da Vinci?s "Salvator Mundi"

In 1900, it was purchased for the Cook Collection in London but by then the painting was no longer credited to da Vinci but to his follower Bernardino Luini.

In 1958, the collection was auctioned off, with ?Salvator Mundi? going for 45 pounds, or about $125 today.

The painting was finally rediscovered in 2005.

(Photograph:AFP)

Non-stop bidding

A 500-year-old work of art depicting Jesus Christ, believed to be the work of Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci. "Salvator Mundi," which the auction house dates back to around 1500, sold after 18 minutes of frenzied bidding in a historic sale, the star lot of the November art season in the US financial capital.

(Photograph:AFP)

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