Gerhard Richter Painting Sells For Record Price At Auction

A painting by Gerhard Richter recently sold for $34.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction. It is the highest price ever paid for a painting by a living artist.

According to Reuters, the painting, Abstraktes Bild (809-4), was originally owned by Eric Clapton. It went to auction earlier this week and was sold for more than $30 million by an anonymous buyer. The painting had an estimated value of about $15 million.

Alex Branczik, the senior director at the auction house, said:

“The combination of outstanding provenance and gold-standard quality in this sublime work by this blue-chip artist made for an historic auction moment … Gerhard Richter’s international appeal as one of the hottest contemporary artists was once again confirmed this evening.”

The Guardian reports that the Gerhard Richter painting smashed the previous record for a living artist which was set in 2010 when Jasper Johns’ Flag sold for $28.6 million at Christie’s.


Richter has had several of his painting sell for more than six figures. In May, Richter’s painting Abstraktes Bild (7938-3) sold for $20 million. In 2011, Richter’s paintings brought in more than $200 million. It is the highest total ever achieved by a living artist.