World’s Largest Painting Sold for $62 Million for Children’s Charities

British artist Sacha Jafri has sold the world’s largest painting on March 22 for $62 million at an auction in Dubai to raise funds for children’s charities.

The Dubai-based artist told BBC News he was “blown away” to have raised twice the price of his original aim of $30 million when he sold the painting that covered 1,595.76 square meters (17,176 square feet) in a deserted ballroom of the Atlantis, The Palm hotel.

“I was really overwhelmed by what happened — to raise that amount of money from one painting in one night,” the 44-year-old artist said.

Recognized by the Guinness World Records last September as the largest ever art canvas, the painting titled “The Journey of Humanity,” becomes the second most expensive painting ever sold at an auction by a living artist.

Jafri said that all proceeds would go to Dubai Cares, Global Gift Foundation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.

Jafri also initially planned to sell the painting in 70 parts. However, French cryptocurrency businessman Andre Abdoune bought the whole artwork.

“The painting was very powerful when I saw it, and, for me, it would have been a mistake to separate the pieces,” Abdoune told AFP News.

Jafri told BBC News that Abdoune “wants to build a museum to house the painting” and that they will “set up a foundation together” to “inspire the next generation to be inspired by art, to avoid the nonsense of the art world.”

Jafri used 1,065 paint brushes and 6,300 liters of paint to create the artwork in a span of eight months. He also took inspiration from the pictures that children from 140 countries had submitted to him online, which represented how they felt during the pandemic.

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