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A Da Vinci Painting Is The Most Expensive Work Of Art Sold At Auction

The painting, called 'Salvator Mundi,' fetched more than $450 million at a Christie's auction — a record.
Posted at 9:47 AM, Nov 16, 2017

Some works of art may be priceless, but a rediscovered masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci is now the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. 

The painting, called "Salvator Mundi" — Latin for "Savior of the World" — sold for more than $450 million at a Christie's auction Wednesday. 

The high price tag likely stems from the fact that there aren't many works of art by da Vinci in existence. Christie's counts fewer than 20 and says all are hanging in museums except for "Salvator Mundi."

Experts believe da Vinci painted it around the year 1500 — possibly for King Louis XII of France.

For years, people believed the work was painted by someone else; it sold for just 45 pounds in 1958. Today that would be a little less than $1,300 — talk about a steal.

"Salvator Mundi" disappeared after that sale and was rediscovered in 2005. From there, it underwent a six-year authentication process.

The previous record for the most expensive work of art sold at auction was almost $180 million in 2015 for one of Pablo Picasso's "Les Femmes d'Alger" paintings.