Da Vinci painting of Christ sells for record $450m

The 26-inch-tall Leonardo painting dates from around 1500 and shows Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal sphere.

It beat a record set in May 2015 by Pablo Picasso's Les Femmes D'Alger, which sold for US$179.4 million.

On Wednesday evening, an anonymous collector dialed in to a spacious room inside Rockefeller Center in New York City and instructed the person on the other end of the line to spend almost half a billion dollars for a 25.8-inch by 17.9-inch oil painting of Jesus Christ.

"It was a moment when all the stars were aligned, and I think Leonardo would be very pleased", said Mr Jussi Pylkkanen, global president of Christie's.

Is this $450 Million da Vinci Even a Real da Vinci?

"It's a little concerning, I guess I'd say", she said. We felt that offering this painting within the context of our Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale is a testament to the enduring relevance of this picture. "The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honor that comes around once in a lifetime". Despite being created approximately 500 years ago, the work of Leonardo is just as influential to the art that is being created today as it was in the 15 and 16 centuries. At that time it was attributed to a Leonardo disciple, rather than to the master himself.

Scholars believe the Leonardo painting is one of few works by Leonardo to survive the centuries since his death and the only one in private hands. Standing in front of his paintings, it becomes impossible for one's mind to fully unravel or comprehend the mystery radiating from them - both the "Mona Lisa" and "Salvator Mundi" are flawless examples of this.

According to Christie's, the painting once belonged to King Charles I of England in the mid-1600s.

Gouzer continued, "Salvator Mundi" was painted in the same timeframe as the Mona Lisa, and they bear a patent compositional likeness".

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The auction house has also played down the painting's volatile history. It was discovered in 2005 and underwent heavy restoration, according to the New York Times.

When the sale was first announced by the auction house back in October, thousands of people visited exhibitions to see the painting including in cities like New York, San Francisco, London, as well as Hong Kong. The highest known sale price for any artwork had been $300 million, for Willem de Kooning's painting "Interchange", sold privately in September 2015 by the David Geffen Foundation to hedge fund manager Kenneth C. Griffin. "Long known to have existed, and long sought after, it seemed just a tantalizingly unobtainable dream until now", Wintermute said.

"It's been called 'the male Mona Lisa, '" he said, "but it doesn't look like it at all".

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