A Picasso has smashed the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. The 1955 cubist oil Les femmes d’Alger (Version O) fetched $179.4m (£115m) at Christie’s in New York. It had been estimated to sell for about $140m (£90m). But several bidders competing via telephone drove the winning bid to $160m (£103m) for a final price of $179,365,000 including Christie’s commission of just over 12%.
Previously the most expensive work sold at auction was Francis Bacon’s triptych Three Studies Of Lucian Freud, which sold for $142.4m (£91.5m) at Christie’s in November 2013.
The painting was once owned by American collectors Victor and Sally Ganz. It was inspired by Picasso’s fascination with the 19th century French artist Eugene Delacroix.