Science

500-year-old da Vinci up for auction in NY

500-year-old da Vinci up for auction in NY

Leonardo Da Vinci's long-lost portrait of Jesus Christ has been sold at a whopping $450 million at Christie's in NY on Wednesday, shattering the world record for the most expensive painting sold at an auction. "This is the most important old master painting to have been sold at auction in my lifetime".

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been 300 million United States dollars (£227 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. Businessman Kenneth C. Griffin bought it in a private sale in 2015. The painting has since been restored and was on display in London last month before coming to NY in time for the auction. It far surpassed the sale of Picasso's Women Of Algiers, which fetched US$179.4 million (S$243.5 million) at Christie's in May 2015. Bidding for the piece opened at $75 million. There was 19-minutes of bidding action between five bidders-one in the room and four on the phone.

People inside Christie's cheered as the hammer came down to mark the end of bidding. It was next recorded in a 1763 sale by Charles Herbert Sheffield, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Buckingham, who put it into auction following the sale of what is now Buckingham Palace to the king. He told the Reuters news agency, "It was a moment when all the stars were aligned, and I think Leonardo would be very pleased". They just wanted to see a masterpiece that dates from about 1500 and was rediscovered in 2005. It shows Jesus dressed in Renaissance-style clothing. It then disappeared until 1900, when it was acquired by Sir Charles Robinson as a work attributed to Leonardo's follower, Bernardino Luini, for the Cook Collection.

Before Rybolovlev, the artwork had been in the possession of several art dealers, including Alexander Parish, who had bought it for $10,000 in an estate sale in the U.S.in 2005. It was badly damaged and partly painted over. The oil painting is thought to be around 500 years old.




Media identified him as Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $127.5 million in 2013 in a private sale. In 2011, it was accepted as a fully autograph work by Leonardo da Vinci and made its dramatic return to the public eye as part of the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan at The National Gallery, London.

Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.

Hai Do adapted this story for Learning English based on Reuters and Associated Press news reports.


  • India seeks permission for Kulbhushan Jadhav's meeting with mother

    India seeks permission for Kulbhushan Jadhav's meeting with mother

    Pakistan on Saturday confirmed having received India's request and would take a decision regarding the matter soon. On November 10, Pakistan had granted permission to the convicted Indian spy to meet his wife.
    Barcelona set new defensive record in La Liga with Leganes win

    Barcelona set new defensive record in La Liga with Leganes win

    Luis Suarez scored a brace as Barcelona recorded a 3-0 victory against Leganes to extend their lead at the summit of LaLiga. They are 11 clear of rivals Real Madrid ahead of their derby against Atletico Madrid this evening.
    Macau: TT Privateer champion Dan Hegarty has died

    Macau: TT Privateer champion Dan Hegarty has died

    Northern Ireland's Irwin led England's Peter Hickman by 1.3 seconds when the event was stopped after six laps. Macau, a resort city in southern China, has been hosting the street race for cars and motorbikes since 1954.
  • Gigi Hadid Will Not Walk In The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

    Gigi Hadid Will Not Walk In The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

    This isn't the only setback Victoria's Secret staff is facing while producing the 2017 show in Shanghai , according to reports. Model Gigi Hadid will be sitting out of this show, with rumours claiming it's because she's been banned from the country.
    West Brom good enough to shock Chelsea - Tony Pulis

    West Brom good enough to shock Chelsea - Tony Pulis

    The Baggies have won only two of their last 21 Premier League games, making for a miserable run which has piled pressure on Pulis. They will be tested against West Brom but I think they should be good enough to get the win on the road.
    Fiji down Kiwis despite dodgy call

    Fiji down Kiwis despite dodgy call

    He's in no danger of being usurped at global or club level, though, and endorsed this Kiwis team's leadership duo to carry on too. Adam Blair tried his best to keep his composure during a post-match interview after the Kiwis' 4-2 loss to Fiji .
  • CHAN 2018: Nigeria to face Rwanda, Libya, Guinea in Group C

    CHAN 2018: Nigeria to face Rwanda, Libya, Guinea in Group C

    Ivory Coast, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia are in Group B while Group D has Angola, Cameroon, Congo and Burkina Faso. Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda and Equatorial Guinea will play in Group C at the Stade Ibn Batouta in Tangier.
    Top general says he would resist

    Top general says he would resist "illegal" nuke order from Trump

    Trump has also, on numerous occasions, pledged to unleash " fire and fury " and to "totally destroy" North Korea if he deems fit. Hyten said the military is on constant alert - ready at any time to respond to a nuclear threat by North Korea.
    Mufti Muneeb urges govt to end sit-in through dialogue

    Mufti Muneeb urges govt to end sit-in through dialogue

    The DC told the court that the number of protesters was between 1,800 and 2,000, which may increase after Juma prayers. The parliament had already restored on Thursday clause related to Khatm-e-Nabuwwat declaration to its original form.
  • Gerry Adams to announce retirement as Sinn Féin president today

    Gerry Adams to announce retirement as Sinn Féin president today

    There has been a plan set in place, since before the death of Martin McGuinness earlier this year. Mr Adams was first elected as leader in 1983 at the Sinn Féin ardfheis in the Mansion House.
    India's Manushi Chhillar crowned Miss World 2017

    India's Manushi Chhillar crowned Miss World 2017

    Diana Hayden won the title in 1997. "If an organisation like Miss World backs it, it could reach a different level altogether". Twenty-eight years later, an architecture student, Aishwarya Rai, brought the Miss World crown to Indian in 1994.
    Dejan Lovren Starts - Liverpool Team vs Southampton Confirmed

    Dejan Lovren Starts - Liverpool Team vs Southampton Confirmed

    Afterwards everybody knew it". "We have three games next week". "That's it. What do YOU make of Klopp's humorous message for Liverpool's players?