Microsoft's Paul Allen collection sale is the highest-grossing sale in history

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Microsoft's Paul Allen collection sale is the highest-grossing sale in history
Microsoft's Paul Allen collection sale is the highest-grossing sale in history
10 November, 18:01CulturePhoto: Guy Bell/REX/Shutterstock
The proceeds of $1.5 billion will go to charity.

Auction house Christies is holding a two-day sale in New York of a collection of art from the collection of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. The first day of trading broke several records at once, according to Reuters. According to Christie's, the first day's total sales were the largest ever collected in a single art auction, at $1.5 billion. In addition, a number of works have broken previous records for individual artists.

Allen, who died in 2018, personally selected all the works for his collection, refusing the help of experts, which billionaires often resort to. “When you look at a painting, you look into another country, into someone else’s imagination, into the way they saw it,” he said two years before his death, when part of his collection was exhibited.

Among the most expensive sold works is the painting by Georges Seurat “Poses. Ensemble "(1888), depicting three naked women. She brought in 149.2 million, which is a record for the work of Seurat. Cezanne's landscape "Mount Sainte-Victoire" (1888-1890) sold for $137.8 million, another record. Gustav Klimt's 1903 painting The Birch Forest set a record among Klimt's works: it was purchased for $104.6 million. And the canvas Verger avec cyprès, bought for 117.2 million dollars, became a record-breaking expensive painting by Van Gogh. Also during the auction were sold paintings by Georgia O'Keeffe, Claude Monet, David Hockney, Andrew Wyeth, Pablo Picasso, sculptures by Alexander Calder and Max Ernst.

The auction will continue on Thursday. All proceeds will be donated to charitable causes in accordance with Allen's posthumous wishes.

The previous record was held by the collection of real estate mogul Harry Macklow and his wife Linda. The collection was put up for auction after their divorce and grossed $922 million.

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