Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi sells for $400m, shattering auction record

By Edward Helmore in New York

Christie's sells long-lost painting of Jesus Christ, billed as ‘the biggest discovery of the 21st century', after 20 minutes of bidding

Salvator Mundi, the long-lost Leonardo da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ commissioned by King Louis XII of France more than 500 years ago, has sold at Christie's in New York for $400m, not including the auctioneers' premiums and fees, shattering the record for an old master sold at auction.

The sale generated a sustained 20 minutes of tense telephone bidding as the auctioneer Jussi Pylkkanen juggled rival suitors before a packed crowd of excited onlookers in the salesroom. At one point, Pylkkanen remarked: “Historic moment, we'll wait” as the the bidding went back and forth, pausing at just over $200m as it rose to break the auction record.

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Source: Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi sells for $400m, shattering auction record