Microsoft co-founder’s group prepares to raise $1 billion in ‘largest art auction in history’ | art

The vast private art collection of the late Microsoft Co-founder Paul Allen is expected to fetch a record $1 billion (£890 million) when it is auctioned next week.

collect more than 150 masterpieces Georges Seurat’s works include Les Poseuses, Ensemble (small version), the landscape La Montagne Sainte-Victoire by Paul Cézanne, which is expected to sell for more than $100 million, and Gustav Klimt’s 1903, Birch Forest, which the auctioneer estimated at $90 million. dollar.

The collection, which Christie’s will be selling over two nights next week, also includes works by Botticelli, Renoir, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein, French BaconLucian Freud and J.M.W. Turner. Allen personally chose all the works, spanning more than 500 years, rather than relying on an art buyer to select them as some billionaires do.

“When you look at a painting, you look at a different country, at someone else’s imagination, and how they saw it,” Allen said about his group When some of his works were shown in 2016.

Christie’s said the sale was “on the verge of being the largest and most extraordinary art auction in history,” surpassing the $922 million made by the auctioneer. Macklowe set in MayAfter the divorce of businessman Harry McCullough from his wife Linda.

All proceeds will be donated to charities, as required Allen, who died in 2018 at age 65 from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Mark Porter, president of Christie’s Americas, said the Allen Collection “combines masterpieces to support philanthropy on an epic scale.”

“It is hard to imagine that this is the result of one man’s pursuit of excellence, but Paul G. Allen was truly a visionary, drawn to artists who shared his genius of seeing our world in new ways and explaining it to us through new means.”

Paul Allen
Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with Bill Gates, passed away in 2018 at the age of 65. Photo: Tim Knox/The Guardian

In 2010, when he was the third richest person in the world, worth an estimated $13.5 billion, Allen pledged to leave the majority of this wealth to charity. The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation He invests predominantly in communities across the Pacific Northwest—Allen was from Seattle—with a focus on regional arts, underserved populations, and the environment.

Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with his childhood friend Bill Gatesdonated more than $2.5 billion during his lifetime to help save endangered species, fund biological sciences and new technology research and fund projects to explore the ocean floor.

He was obsessed with the world’s oceans and owned the Octopus, a vast explorer-class ship It was the largest yacht in the world When it was built in 2003 it had the ability to explore the deep sea as well as live the luxury life on the high seas. Octopus It was sold for less than €230m (£202m) last year.

Another luxury yacht owned by Allen was sold on Friday. Tatoosh is 92 meters long, which has been heavily marketed in The last Monaco Yachting Show, by luxury yacht broker Fraser to an undisclosed buyer at an undisclosed price. It was listed at a price of $90 million.

Max Carter, Christie’s Vice President for Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries, said Allen’s art collection was “like Cézanne’s breathtaking view of Mont Saint Victoire…top of a mountain.”

“From Brueghel’s Five Senses and the Venetian fantasies of Turner and Manet, to the late nineteenth-century masterpieces of Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, the Klimt forest and the great interior Freud W11 (after Watteau), which is arguably the greatest piece of the past 50 years, the collection is limited to vision and quality alone.”

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