Leonardo da Vinci painting sells for a whopping $450 million at auction

A rare Leonardo da Vinci painting has just gone under the hammer for an historic $US450 million ($AUD591 million)

The 500-year-old artwork, called Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World), is now the most expensive artwork to have ever been sold at an auction.

The bidding battle for the painting lasted just short of 20 minutes at the Rockefeller Center in New York, with the lucky winner making the final bid over the phone.


According to Chrsitie’s, the auction house that conducted the sale, the painting is of Christ holding a crystal orb in his left hand and raising his right hand in benediction.

The previous holder of the record price for an Old Master painting was Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens, which sold for $76.7 million in 2002.

There are fewer than 20 Leonardo da Vinci paintings in existence.