Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s art collection sells for record $1.5 billion at auction
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images; Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images Paul Allen
Works of art from the collection of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen sold at a historic auction on Wednesday night.
The trove of “60 extraordinary works” has fetched more than $1.5 billion, becoming the most valuable private collection of all time and also breaking several additional records, according to Christie’s.
“Never before have more than two paintings exceeded $100 million in a single sale, but tonight we saw five,” Max Carter, vice president, 20th and 21st Century Art, said in a statement. communicated. “Four were masterpieces by the fathers of modernism – Cézanne, Seurat, van Gogh and Gauguin.”
The draw of the evening was that of Georges Seurat The Poseuses, Together (Small version)which sold for a staggering $149,240,000, breaking the artist’s record.
Fittingly, the coin held special significance for the philanthropist.
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“Because of my background in computer science, I’m drawn to things like pointillism or a work of ‘numbers’ by Jasper Johns because they come from breaking something down into its component parts – like bytes or numbers, but in another kind of language,” he once said. said, according to the auction house.
by Cezanne The Sainte-Victoire mountain sold for $137,790,000. Historical painting marked a turning point for the artist into more abstract territory, Christie’s said, and helped pave the way for Cubism.
Meanwhile, other records were set by the sale of van Gogh Orchard with cypresses and Gauguin’s monumental Maternity II, which were sold for $117,180,000 and $105,730,000 respectively. The first painting is one of 14 canvases devoted to the luminous landscape of Provence, while the second was painted in Tahiti in 1899.
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The landmark sale continues Friday morning, with more masterpieces on the way, including sculptures by Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti and Pablo Picasso.
The entire art collection spans 500 years, from the Renaissance to the masters of modernism.
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Allen amassed his collection over several decades, according to CNN, and loaned the artwork to museums around the world.
Per his wishes, all proceeds from the auction will benefit philanthropic causes, the auction house said.