People can't believe a Leonardo Da Vinci Painting of Christ was sold at Christie's auction house for $450.3 million on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. It was a record-breaking bidding that went on for about 19 minutes among four bidders on their telephones and one in the room.

The successful owner was not immediately identified. Those in attendance at the auction house could not believe the price ended up being that much. Sighs could be heard throughout the room as the bids that started out at $100 million went higher and higher.

Record-breaking sale

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovle paid only $127.5 for it in 2013 when he bought it in a private sale. Just four year later, the painting was sold for so much more in a record-breaking sale. The amount is far more than the highest price ever paid for art at an auction.

Before Wednesday, the highest amount paid was for "Women of Algiers (Version O)" by Picasso that was auctioned off at Christie's in May 2015 for $179.4 million. The auction price of Leonard da Vinci's painting was even higher than the highest known sale price for any artwork. The "Interchange" by Willem de Kooning was sold privately to Kenneth C. Griffin for $300 million in September 2015 by the David Geffen Foundation.

About the art

The painting is called "Salvator Mundi" which is Italian for "Savior of the World" which is thought to be only one of fewer than 20 paintings by Leonardo da Vinci in existence today, and the only one known to be in private hands.

The painting is measured 26-inches-tall. Because it was painted around 1500, the figure of Jesus is wearing a Renaissance-style robe.

His right hand is raised as if he is proclaiming a blessing. He holds a crystal sphere in his left hand.

Besides being the highest price for a piece of art at an auction, there are questions about the authenticity of the painting. Most scholars agree that the painting is by Leonardo da Vinci, but some critics have questioned the attribution because of several phases of restoration.

Before Rybolovle bought the painting in 2013, it had been in the hands of a few other owners. It was sold in 2005 to a group of art dealers who paid less than $10,000 for it. The dealers restored it by painting over some parts of it, but they still documented its authenticity as a work by Leonardo da Vinci. Those who viewed the art as it was being auctioned off described it as spectacular. Perhaps the new owner will be revealed in the future.