Eric Clapton’s painting nets $34.2M

Visitors look at Gerhard Richter's “Abstraktes Bild (809-4)” from 1994 which sold...

Visitors look at Gerhard Richter's “Abstraktes Bild (809-4)” from 1994 which sold for US$34.2 million at Sotheby's London October 8, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

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, Last Updated: 11:54 AM ET

Rock legend Eric Clapton’s bank balance was given a huge boost on Friday when his painting by German artist Gerhard Richter sold for a record-breaking $34.2 million.

The musician put the abstract work, called Abstraktes Bild (809-4), under the hammer at Sotheby's auction house in London, and the sale was expected to attract a maximum bid of $19 million.

But it exceeded experts’ estimations and was snapped up by an anonymous buyer just five minutes into the auction, prompting a round of applause.

The huge amount breaks the previous record for a price paid at auction for the work of a living artist, which was set in 2010 following the sale of Jasper Johns’ Flag for $28.6 million.

Clapton has made a huge profit from the sale; he bought the piece as a set of four in 2001 for $3.4 million.


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