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Picasso sells for $179.4m, becomes world's most expensive painting

Spanish artist's 'Les Femmes d'Algers' sold to anonymous bidder at New York auction house

Jussi Pylkkanen, president of Christies, stands near, Picasso's painting 'Women of AlSelcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Bloomberg –Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘‘O’’)” sold for $179.4 million, setting a record for any artwork sold at auction.

The price for the painting, sold Monday at Christie’s in New York, breaks the record held by Francis Bacon’s $142.4 million triptych since November 2013. The auction house had valued the Picasso at $140 million, the highest presale target of any work. The sale price includes commission.

Depicting a group of courtesans, the Picasso painting is based on Eugene Delacroix’s work of a similar title. Picasso explored the theme through a group of 15 paintings, designating the versions from A to O.

The auction house’s special evening sale of 20th century art called “Looking Forward to the Past” is continuing.

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