Alive, Paul Allen was generous, gone; he is even more so
Paul Allen left, and Bill Gates in 1987-Anne E. Yow-Dyson | Getty Images
An auction at Christie’s in New York of the art collection of Paul Allen, who died in 2018, brought in a record amount of 1.62 billion USD on Wednesday, 9 and Thursday, 10 November, with five works going for more than 100 million USD each, at the auction at Christie’s in New York.
Despite the financial crisis, wars, and lack of energy resources, the art market continues to rise insolently despite geopolitical and economic uncertainties. These five paintings were sold on Wednesday evening, November 9, in a memorable evening at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.
“La Montagne Sainte-Victoire” by Paul Cezanne sold for a record-breaking $137.8 million. CHRISTIE’S
Several works including Georges Seurat Les Poseuses Ensemble – Petite version sold for 149.2 million USD, Paul Cézanne La Montagne Sainte-Victoire sold for 137.7 million USD, Vincent Van Gogh Verger avec cyprès sold for 117.1 million USD, Paul Gauguin Maternité II sold for 105.7 million USD and Gustav Klimt Birch Forest sold for 104.5 million USD.
The amount is incredible, as it reached 1.5 billion USD. On Thursday night, the second part of the sale reached “only” 116 million USD.
Over the two days, Christie’s announced a stratospheric amount of over 1.62 billion USD.
“Paul G. Allen’s collection attracted tens of thousands of visitors to Christie’s art galleries around the world and has now gone down in history as the most expensive auction ever,” said Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of the New York auction house, in a statement.
Paul Allen took years to build this collection that included “155 masterpieces spanning 500 years of art history, (and) 100% sold. Of the worldwide clients, 28% of the works by value were purchased Wednesday night by Asian clients,” according to Christie’s.
Art star François Pinault of France announced that all proceeds from the sale would be donated to charity. Despite his quarrel with Bill Gates, his partner in the birth of Microsoft in 1975, the American billionaire Paul Allen signed in 2009 his Giving Pledge, pledging to donate the majority of his fortune.
The amount of this collection shattered the previous record of the Macklowe collection, named after a wealthy New York couple, which reached 922 million USD at the rival Sotheby’s in the spring.
With these sales and the sale of a portrait of Marilyn Monroe Shot Sage Blue Marilyn by Andy Warhol in May for USD 195 million, 2022 should remain one of the most lucrative years in the art market history.