And it's for a Klimt painting. A Klimt! I mean -- wow! -- it's pretty. Look at all the gold.
Museum Associates/Agence France-Presse - Getty Images
Speaking of prettiness, the purchaser's money comes from cosmetics.
Actually, the purchase and the price make a lot of sense. The buyer, Ronald S. Lauder, is the founder of the Neue Galerie, "a tiny museum at Fifth Avenue and 86th Street devoted entirely to German and Austrian fine and decorative arts." The painting exactly fits the place and is one of the artist's greatest paintings. Lauder had to convince the owner to sell. And the owner, the niece of the woman in the portrait (Adele Bloch-Bauer), fought a long and hard to obtain the painting from the Austrian government, which, she successfully argued, had obtained it by way of the Nazis.