Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi was bought for $450m (£342m) on Wednesday evening, breaking the record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at a public auction.
The painting depicts Christ in a blue robe holding a crystal orb, which represents Earth, and is one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Italian artist known still to exist.
At $450m, the value of the artwork far eclipses the previous record-holder, Willem de Kooning's Interchange, which sold for $300m in 2015 – 50pc less.
But how long until we see the first $1bn painting sold at auction? According to Telegraph calculations, based on the values and dates of previous record-breaking art purchases over the past 30 years, the projected date is 2029.
This will mean that, over the 44-year period from 1985 when Andrea Mantegna's Adoration of the Magi sold for $10.5m to 2029, the world's most valuable artworks will, if the forecast is accurate, rise in value by 9,423pc.
The most regularly featured artist in the list of most expensive artworks ever sold is Vincent van Gogh, who had four record-breaking auction sales, including Still Life: Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers, which sold for $39.7m in 1987 and Portrait of Dr. Gachet, which commanded $82.5m at auction in 1990.
Graphic: What year will we have the first £1bn painting?
Art has long been a lucrative investment for those wealthy enough to purchase a piece of work, with last year’s sales reaching $45bn, a 1.7pc year-on-year increase, according to the most recent figures from the European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF).
The figure could be even higher, given that auction houses are taking more money in privately brokered sales to wealthy collectors, who are less willing to reveal what they pay at auction.
"At a time where austerity has resulted in much cited global inequality, and revelations about the enormity of hidden financial wealth, buyers at the top-end of the market are preferring privately brokered deals to the traditional auction setting of bidding by open outcry," TEFAF said.
Beware the risks before investing in the booming art market
With the number of ultra high-net-worth individuals – those with investable assets of more than $30m – increasing by 8.3pc last year, and global wealth on the up, art is likely to continue to be a booming market.
However, high-profile experts in the field advise against investing in art for profit rather than buying it for pleasure. Art investments are unregulated, so investors cannot fall back on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) or any other body if their investment goes wrong.
They are often illiquid, meaning that you may not be able to sell when you want, and art, unlike equities, bonds or property, does not produce an income.