The crowd gasped Wednesday night at Christie's auction house in New York City as the bidding war breached the $200 million mark for the Leonardo da Vinci painting Salvator Mundi.
At $300 million, those in the auction room broke in scattered applause; the whole thing was streamed online with a slight delay for the world to watch.
The masterwork painting – one of around 16 verified da Vinci originals in existence – sold Wednesday to an anonymous buyer for a hammer price of $400 million and another $50.3 million in fees, making it the most expensive painting ever sold in history.
The seller is Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, an avid art collector who purchased Salvator Mundi for $127.5 million in May 2013.
Rybolovev is the world's 190th richest man with a net worth of $7.4 billion, according to Forbes – he is the 15th richest man in Russia.
Salvator Mundi, named "The Last da Vinci" by Christie's, is the first and only da Vinci painting to be verified as an original in the 21st century – the last da Vinci painting verified as a master original was Benois Madonna in 1909.