Art Collection Belonging To Late Microsoft Co-Founder Sells For $1.5 Billion


Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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A fine art collection that once belonged to the late Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen sold for a record-breaking $1.5 billion Wednesday.

The art sale made history as being the largest single-owner sale in auction history, according to CNN. The collection spanned 500 years and included pieces from Vincent van Gogh, Gustav Klimt, Paul Cézanne, Georges Seurat and other major artists. Auction house Christie’s New York handled the transactions, with all proceeds going toward philanthropic causes, according to CNN.

The auction unfolded over the course of two nights and represented 500 years of art history, according to CNN.

French artist Seurat’s “Les Poseuses, Ensemble (Petite version)” fetched the highest price of any single piece at an astounding $149.2 million, more than quintuple the next highest known sale price for the painting, according to CNN.

Max Carter, vice chairman of 20th and 21st century art at Christies, also revealed the high auction value of other notable pieces in Allen’s collection. Cézanne’s oil on canvas “La Montagne Sainte-Victoire,” for example, sold for just shy of $137.8 million.(RELATED: Seth Rogen’s Ceramic Vase Sells For $10,000 At Art Auction)

A Van Gogh painting called “Verger avec cyprès” went for almost $117.2 million, and became the most expensive work by the artist ever to sell at auction, according to CNN.

“This is when his color has become unmoored from reality and is dictated by imagination,” Carter said. Out of the orchard series, “only five are in private hands” while the “vast majority are in museums,” he told CNN.

Other nine-figure bids included Gauguin’s “Maternité II,” which sold for $105.7 million, and Klimt’s “Birch Forest,” a large-scale landscape that sold for over $104.5 million, according to CNN.