Picasso’s Women of Algiers smashes auction record.
Picasso’s Women of Algiers has become the most expensive painting to sell at auction, going for $179.3m (£115m) at Christie’s in New York.
Eleven minutes of prolonged bidding from telephone buyers preceded the final sale – for much more than its pre-sale estimate of $140m.
The evening sale also featured Alberto Giacometti’s life-size sculpture Pointing Man, which set a record as the most expensive sculpture, at $141.3m.
The buyers chose to remain anonymous.
The Picasso oil painting is a vibrant, cubist depiction of nude courtesans, and is part of a 15-work series the Spanish artist created in 1954-55 designated with the letters A to O.
The final price of $179,365,000 includes Christie’s commission of just over 12%.
The previous world record for a painting sold at auction was $142.4m, for British painter Francis Bacon’s Three Studies of Lucian Freud.
That sold at Christie’s in 2013.