Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s artwork sold for $1 billion at world’s biggest art auction

Paul Cézanne repeatedly painted the Sainte-Victoire mountain in the south of France. One of this set will be included in the auction

Artwork worth an estimated $1bn (£847m) belonging to the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen will be sold at Europe’s biggest art auction story.

Auction house Christie’s said proceeds from the November sale would be donated to charity, as Mr Allen wished.

The collection includes masterpieces by Botticelli, Renoir, David Hockney and Roy Lichtenstein.

Mr Allen, who co-founded Microsoft in 1975 with childhood friend Bill Gates, died in 2018 aged 65.

The auction will sell 150 works of art spanning 500 years.

Pieces will include La Montagne Sainte-Victoire by French painter Paul Cézanne, valued at more than $100m (£85m).

Christie’s CEO Guillaume Cerutti said the auction would be unlike any other.

“The inspiring figure of Paul Allen, the extraordinary quality and diversity of the works, and the dedication of all proceeds to philanthropy, create a unique combination that will make the sale of the Paul G Allen collection an event of unprecedented magnitude. precedent,” he said.

Paul Allen

The art was “both analytical and emotional” for Mr. Allen, he said.

The collection “reflects the diversity of his interests, with their own mystique and beauty,” said Jody Allen, sister of Mr Allen, the executor of the estate.

Mr. Allen left his post at Microsoft in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.

Her relationship with co-founder Bill Gates had also deteriorated but would improve later in life. He remained on the company’s board of directors until 2000.

Mr. Allen was successfully treated for his cancer and founded a private company with his sister Jody, Vulcan Inc, which managed his business and philanthropy. He had a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio, including continuing to own shares of Microsoft.

In 2010, he pledged to leave the majority of his fortune to charity after his death. At the time, he was the 37th richest man in the world according to Forbes magazine, with an estimate of $13.5bn (then £8.8bn).

He was treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2009 but returned and in 2018 died of complications from the disease.