People have hilarious responses after a painting sold for $450 million

A painting entitled'Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci at

A portrait of Christ by Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci has shattered all previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately, fetching a whopping $450.3 million on Wednesday at Christie's in NY.

So huge was interest that almost 30,000 people flocked to see the painting at Christie's showrooms in Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and NY, the auction house said.

The highest price paid for a work of art at auction had been $179.4 million (152 million euros), for Picasso's "Women of Algiers (Version O)" in May 2015, also at Christie's in NY. The painting is expected to sell at auction for $100 million on Wednesday. It's the only painting by Leonardo in a private collection, according to Christie's auction house.

The 500-year-old oil on panel, titled "Salvator Mundi" ("Savior of the World"), depicts Jesus Christ dressed in flowing robes and holding a crystal orb in his left hand.

Christie's declined to comment on the controversy and had valued the painting pre-sale at $100 million. The auction house hosted public viewings of the painting for more than 27,000 people in cities around the world before the sale. It closes with the text "The Last da Vinci" appearing on screen.

Art critics cast doubt on authenticity of Leonardo da Vinci's record-breaking artwork

Christie's has exhibited the painting in Hong Kong, San Francisco, London and NY in the weeks prior to Wednesday's sale.

Louis XII of France first commissioned the painting and Charles I of England later owned the piece. At that time it was attributed to a Leonardo disciple, rather than to the master himself.

For years it was presumed to have been destroyed, emerging only in 2005 when it was purchased from a USA estate. The price tag of the classic piece of artwork makes it the highest valued painting in history. Christie's did not identify the seller, other than to say it was a European private collector.

"Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time", Loic Gouzer, Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art, New York, said before the sale. The art dealers restored the painting and documented its authenticity as a work by Leonardo.

Artnet News reported that this fall's NY auctions being held in a frenzy this week could top the $1 billion mark in sales, higher than last year's fall season, though spring season sales totaled $1.6 billion. "It has been more than a century since the last such painting turned up and this opportunity will not come again in our lifetime". "Long known to have existed, and long sought after, it seemed just a tantalizingly unobtainable dream until now", Wintermute said.




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