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Clapton Sells Painting: Eric Clapton Sells Gerard Richter, Abstraktes Bild, for Over $34 million

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Oct 16, 2012 10:54 AM EDT

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A Gerard Richter painting purchased by Eric Clapton for  £2million ($3,218,998.99) has sold in auction for more than £21million.

The Daily Mail reports that Clapton, 67, bought the painting in 2001 and it was auctioned at Sotheby's in London. The sum it was sold as is the highest a painting has ever sold by a living artist.

The final winning bid was at a whopping £21,321,250 ($34,322,042.83), The Daily Mail reports.

The oil painting called, Abstraktes Bild was made in 1994 and is an abstract creation covered in shades of reds, blues, yellows and greens. The BBC reported that Sotheby's called Abstraktes Bild a "paradigm of Gerhard Richter's mature artistic and philosophical achievement".

Before the sale, The Telegraph reported Alex Branczik, Sotheby's senior director of contemporary art said: "Abstraktes Bild is one of the great abstract masterpieces by Gerhard Richter, and its appearance on the market presents collectors with the unique opportunity to acquire an outstanding work by one of the greatest living painters."

The Independent said that the artwork was estimated at £9 million ($14,487,209.07) to £12 million ($19,316,278.76) pounds. The buyer of the artwork, was Natasha Mendelsohn of Sotheby's, who was  acting for a client via telephone. She outbid her co-worker Tobias Meyer who is the worldwide head of comtemporary art who was also working for a client.

The Daily Mail reported that the sale broke a previous record for highest price sold by a living artist which was a Jasper Johns painting that sold for £17.8million in 2010.

Clapton purchased three Richter paintings in 2001 at Sotheby's. Richter, 80, lives in Cologne, Germany and is well known for his abstract art. The Independent said about Richter that he  "has become the world's most bankable living artist, dealers said. His highly decorative abstractions, often painted with a squeegee, have become particularly sought-after by wealthy international collectors and set seven of the 10 highest prices paid for the artist at auction."

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