Salvator Mundi is officially the most expensive work of art in an auction. The artwork by Leonardo da Vinci was sold yesterday at a record high of $450 million inclusive of fees. The previous artwork that held the record was Women of Algiers by Picasso that had been sold in May 2015 for $179.4 million. As for Leonardo da Vinci’s artwork, it had five bidders. Four were on the telephone while one was in the room. People in the room were gasped whenever the bid went up by tens of millions. At one time, the price stood at $260 million. Moments later, the auctioneer who has been identified as Jussi Pylkkanen announced that there was an investor who was thinking about making a multi-million dollar increment. This is the moment when everyone in the room went quiet. The auctioneer called the moment historic and said that they would wait. The bidder was on the phone and was being represented by postwar and contemporary art Alex Rotter. The investor had to make two big jumps to ensure that he countered the bid from Francis de Poortere. This comes at a time when the old masters market is falling short of supply despite growing demand.
In the recent years, art and its value have greatly been determined by the salesmanship involved, and this sale was a good proof. Art experts had expressed their concerns about the condition of the art on sale. At the same time, they had questioned its authenticity. A New York Art advisor known as Todd Levin talked about the sale. He said that it proved the role of branding in art sale. At the same time, he said that the sale had been dominated by a desire for reality and connoisseurship. The New York Times has learned that this was the first time that Christie, the marketing firm, had hired an advertising agency. The agency further released a video showing the executives who were interested in buying the artwork. This was the last painting of Leonardo da Vinci to be owned privately as the rest are in museums already. This is why Christie referred to the work as Last da Vince. Pyms Gallery in London director Alan Hobart said that the same was achieved due to the remarkable and brilliant marketing that was done. He said that the artwork had set a standard for the future. The painting had been viewed by 27,000 people earlier in the day.