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In A Decade Of Huge Art Sales, The Biggest Of All Was ‘Salvator Mundi,” At $450 Million – Forbes

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The overflow crowd at Christie’s auction house broke into applause when the gavel fell on the blockbuster art sale of the decade. On the evening of November 15, 2017, a little-known Saudi prince, bidding over the phone, agreed to pay $450.3 million for “Salvator Mundi,” a 500-year-old portrait of a solemn Jesus Christ hyped by Christie’s as the “The Last da Vinci.” No matter that many art scholars believed the work was a product of Leonardo’s studio rather than the master himself.

Few artworks have aroused as much curiosity. Since the sale, the painting seems to have gone missing. The Louvre Abu Dhabi abruptly canceled a scheduled unveiling in September 2018. The latest speculation is that Saudi Arabia’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whisked away the painting in the middle of the night on his private plane and stowed it on his $500 million yacht, Serene, currently sailing who knows where.

Is “Salvator Mundi” the most expensive artwork ever sold? It’s not clear. Although auction houses trade their treasures in public, most transactions take place privately. Still, record-breaking sales have a way of coming to light.

After combing through news reports and legal documents, we’ve put together the highest-priced known art deals in each year of the last decade. See the slide show for pictures and prices. Tap to move from one slide to the next.

In second place: “Interchange,” a 1955 abstract expressionist oil in cream, orange, yellow and sea green by Willem de Kooning, which fetched $300 million in September 2015. Chicago hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin reportedly paid entertainment billionaire David Geffen’s foundation a total of $500 million for two works. The second was “Number 17A,” a 1948 drip painting by Jackson Pollock. Griffin loaned both works to the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is a trustee.

Paul Cézanne’s “The Card Players” brought the third-highest price of the decade. In 2011 the nation of Qatar paid the estate of the late Greek shipping magnate George Embiricos $250 million, according to a report in Vanity Fair. In the 1890s Cézanne painted a series of four versions of Provençal farmhands relaxing over a game of cards. The other three are in museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

See our slide show for the rest of the top ten. If there’s a lesson from the decade’s sky-high prices, it’s that the art market’s ceiling keeps ascending.

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Exclusive | Abraham Lincoln painting featured at Hamptons art fair victim of heist: ‘Lessons learned’ – Page Six

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Exclusive | Abraham Lincoln painting featured at Hamptons art fair victim of heist: ‘Lessons learned’  Page Six

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Advocates hope digital map makes Toronto art more accessible – CBC.ca

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Advocates hope digital map makes Toronto art more accessible  CBC.ca

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Britain behind Europe in arts funding and education, ‘crisis’ report shows – The Guardian

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Britain behind Europe in arts funding and education, ‘crisis’ report shows  The Guardian

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