Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's art auction sells for more than $1.6 billion in two days

Last November 10th, the vast art collection of the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen went up for auction in New York. Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection on Wednesday and Thursday features more than 150 works.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's art auction sells for more than $1.6 billion in two days

According to auction house Christie's, the first auction on Wednesday alone brought in more than $1.56 billion. More than half of the lots fetched higher-than-expected prices, and as many as five paintings sold for over $100 million. Christie's has never had more than 2 paintings bring more than $100 million in a single sale, but he set a record of 5 paintings in one night.

It was the largest private collection auction, with masterpieces of modern and contemporary art from over 500 years of art history. This auction recorded the highest sales ever for a private collection. All the paintings on display were on display in a traveling museum before they were owned by Mr. Allen. The highlight of the first part last Wednesday was 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat's Les Poséuses, Ensemble (Petite version), which sold for a whopping $149.2 million.

Jody Ellen, Paul Allen's sister and trustee of the Paul G. It was always a pleasure to share my experience with others," he said.

Forbes noted that the late Allen was the man who sold Diego Rivera's The Rivals for $9.8 million in 2018. The buyer's identity of the painting was a mystery at the time, but it sold for $14.1 million from his collection. Art market masterpieces go up in value, but jumping to about $4 million in four years is highly unusual.

              La Montagne Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cézanne
              Image: Paul Cézanne/Christie's

Mr. Allen's collection is just amazing

Christie's just held another billionaire collectibles auction in October, with a similar lot of Gordon and Anne Getty's collection bringing in a total of about $1.6 million. As of Wednesday, 62 items from Allen's collection have been auctioned, well above the amount as mentioned above. A spokesperson for Christie's told Gizmodo that while the auction house is used to auctioning extensive collections, " Allen's collection stands out for the quality, breadth, and condition of the pieces. " rice field.

Christie says that Allen's foundation will donate the proceeds to charity, but the name of the organization to which the donation will be made is not disclosed. Allen was a member of The Giving Pledge during his lifetime and pledged to donate most of his fortune to various causes focused on "new ideas" and "accelerating discovery."

Mr. Allen seems to have been a connoisseur to find and obtain masterpieces of popular painters, and many masterpieces were exhibited in the first part alone. Two Vincent van Gogh paintings, Verger Avec Cyprus and Parc à Arles Avec un coin de la Maison Jaune, sold for $117 million and $3.7 million respectively. Paul Cézanne's La Montagne Sainte-Victoire fetched a high of $137.8 million. As Christie and CNN point out, Cézanne painted this mountain many times, but the two-dimensional method of expression in this work influenced later Cubist painters.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's art auction sells for more than $1.6 billion in two days
            Small False Start by Jasper Johns, 1960
           Image: Jasper Johns/Christie's

Speaking of Cubism, Pablo Picasso's early work Quatre baigneuses sold for $3.4 million, well above the expected bid of $600,000 to $800,000. More contemporary, Lucien Freud's 1981 masterpiece Large Interior, W11 (after Watteau) sold for $86.2 million. Jasper Johns' 1960 Small False Start became the highest-selling painting by a living artist at $55.3 million. Allen's collection also includes sculptures by Alberto Giacometti and Louise Bourgeois.

So many masterpieces were sold in the first part held on Wednesday alone, and combined with the second part held on Thursday, it was announced that the total sales reached $ 1,622,249,500.

Allen was talented not only in art but also in music.

Allen died in 2018 at the age of 65 from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His story of meeting Bill Gates, co-founding Microsoft, and the souring relationship after being diagnosed with cancer is repeated in his autobiography and books about Microsoft. Allen, who became a tremendous millionaire, owned many works of art, but he was also blessed with musical talent, according to big music producer Quincy Jones.

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