The painting, called “Salvator Mundi,” Italian for “Savior of the World,” is one of fewer than 20 paintings by Leonardo known to exist and the only one in private hands. It was sold by Christie’s auction house.
Bidding began at $100m and the final bid for the work was $400m, with fees bringing the full price up to $450.3m. The unidentified buyer was involved in a bidding contest, via telephone, that lasted nearly 20 minutes.
It is the highest auction price for any work of art.
The painting, which was once part of Charles I’s Royal collection and was sold for just £45 in the 1950s when it was mistaken for a copy, is the last remaining Leonardo in private hands.