Works of art collected by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen broke the sales record for a single collection, fetching $1.5 billion at an auction.
This is the largest amount ever collected at a single art auction, Christie's reported. The proceeds will be donated to charity, as Paul Allen wanted, according to The Guardian.
The star of the auction was the painting "Les Poseuses, Ensemble (petite version)" by Georges Seurat, an 1888 oil on canvas depicting three nude women, which was sold for 149 million dollars.
Paul Allen’s Art Collection - One Of The Most Impressive In The World
Paul Allen's collection, which spans over 500 years of art history and includes some of the most famous names, has been described by Christie's as the "largest and most exceptional" private collection ever under the hammer. The auction house expected this collection to sell for around $1 billion.
Several of the winning bids smashed previous records for individual artists and many exceeded the expected sales prices estimated by the auction house. Among them are the painting "La Montagne Sainte-Victoire" fby Paul Cézanne ($137 million), the painting "Birch Forest" from 1903 by Gustav Klimt ($104 million), "Verger avec cyprès" from 1888 by Vincent van Gogh ($117 million), and the bronze sculpture "Le roi jouant avec la reine" from 1961 by Max Ernst ($24 million of dollars).
Another important sale was Lucian Freud's painting "Large Interior, W11", from 1983, for 86 million dollars.
The value crossed the $1 billion mark midway with the sale of Alberto Giacometti's nude standing female bronze figure "Femme de Venise III" for $25 million.
The first part of the auction also included pieces by Georgia O'Keefe, Jasper Johns, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Louise Bourgeois, Wassily Kandinsky, and Sandro Botticelli.
Proceeds from the sale will go to humanitarian causes in accordance with the wishes of Paul Allen, who died of complications from cancer in 2018. During his lifetime, he donated more than $2 billion. Together with his childhood friend, Bill Gates, he founded Microsoft in 1975.
When announcing the final result of the auction, the organizer said it was a "historic" sale. The previous record for a single collection was set in May when the private collection of real estate magnate Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda sold for a total of $922 million at Sotheby's in New York.
Photo Credit: Screenshot Youtube Christie's