Gerhard Richter painting sells for record £21.3m

Music legend Eric Clapton sells German artist's Abstraktes Bild (809-4) at Sotheby's
Gerhard Richer, Abstraktes Bild (809-4)
Gerhard Richer, Abstraktes Bild (809-4)

In 2010, a painting by the great American Pop artist Jasper Johns, Flag, sold at auction in New York for £17.8m. It was the most ever paid for a work of art by a living artist. Until last week.

On Friday, at an auction at London's Sotheby's, musician and art collector Eric Clapton sold an abstract painting by the German artist Gerhard Richter for £21.3m, smashing the previous record and sending reverberations around the art world.

Abstraktes Bild (809-4), an oil on canvas painted in 1994, cost £7.8m more than Richter's next most expensive painting, Abstraktes Bild (7938-3), sold for £13.5m.

The German artist, now 80 years old, is widely considered among the greatest ever, and Sotheby's have described his abstract work as a "masterpiece". But, assuming you had the money, would you pay £21.3m for a painting? 

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