Paintings and sculptures from the collection of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen were auctioned for a historic $1 billion.
Paintings and sculptures from the collection of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen were auctioned Wednesday for a historic $1 billion, auction house Christie’s said, holding records for works by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin, Seurat and Klimt.
Five paintings entered the exclusive club of artworks that sold for more than $100 million at auction, the New York auction house said, as a sign that the art market continues to grow despite economic uncertainties related to the war in Ukraine and inflation. .
The most expensive piece of the evening, Georges Seurat’s 1888 work “Les Poseuses, Ensemble (small version),” a famous work of pointillism, grossed $149.24 million, including fees, Christie’s said.
The auction house had announced that the entire proceeds would be donated to charity.
Wednesday’s auction sold 60 of the 150 lots, the rest will be sold on Thursday.
The value of the collection has already surpassed the record for the Macklowe collection, named after a wealthy New York couple, who raised $922 million from competitor Sotheby’s earlier this spring. – Microsoft Fortune – Allen made his fortune founding the PC operating system with his more famous Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in 1975.
He amassed an enormous art collection that he loaned to museums before his death in 2018 at the age of 65.
According to Forbes, at the time of his death, he had a net worth of $20.3 billion.
Allen left Microsoft in 1983 due to health problems and a deteriorating relationship with Gates, who remained in charge of the company until 2000.
He founded a pop culture museum in his hometown of Seattle and owned several sports franchises, including the Seattle Seahawks.
Despite their tense friendship, Allen signed Gates’ ‘Giving Pledge’ campaign and all proceeds from the auction will be donated to charities. – Miscellaneous collection – Sales on Wednesday were about $1.5 billion, according to an AFP calculation, including “La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” by French painter Paul Cezanne — which brought in $137.8 million, nearly double the artist’s auction record.
A work by Vincent van Gogh, “Orchard with Cypresses,” broke the Dutch artist’s previous record, grossing $117.2 million.
A painting from the Tahitian period by Paul Gauguin, “Maternity II,” fetched $105.7 million.
Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s “Birch Forest” raised $104.6 million.
The billion dollar mark was crossed on lot number 32, a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti, “Woman of Venice III”, which sold for $25 million.
The auction was a testament to the quality of Allen’s collection, which included a wide variety of works by German-American painter-sculptor Max Ernst, whose sculpture “The King Playing with the Queen” sold for $24.3 million, to the American Jasper Johns, one of the few living artists in the collection, whose lithograph “Small False Start” sold for $55.35 million.