Hedge fund billionaire Steven A. Cohen was the secret buyer who purchased Alberto Giacometti’s L’Homme au doigt (1947) for $141.3 million at Christie’s, Page Six reported earlier today. The six-foot-tall bronze sculpture, which now holds the record for the most expensive sculpture ever sold at auction, went on the auction block at May 12’s $705.8-million sale, titled “Looking Forward to the Past.” (It was not the most expensive work sold that night—Pablo Picasso’s Les Femmes d’Algers (Version “O”) went for $179.3 million, perhaps to the former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.)
The sculpture is one of six casts that Giacometti made and sometimes also goes by its English title, Pointing Man. Cohen bought the work from a private owner, who had the Giacometti sculpture in his or her collection since 1970.
Cohen’s collection of modern and contemporary art is widely considered to be among the best in the world. Among the works he owns are Vincent van Gogh’s Peasant Woman Against a Background of Wheat (1890) and Paul Gauguin’s Bathers (1902), bought for a collected $120 million from Steven Wynn in 2005; Andy Warhol’s Superman (1961), bought from Larry Gagosian for $25 million in 2004; a Jackson Pollock drip painting, bought from David Geffen for $52 million in 2003; and Damien Hirst’s The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), bought from Charles Saatchi for an undisclosed price in 2004.
Christie’s could not be reached for a comment.