Microsoft co-founder's art collection - featuring Van Gogh and Cezanne - sells for record-breaking $1.5bn

A selection of five dozen paintings and sculptures by renowned artists such as Paul Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh have been sold in a $1.5bn auction.

The works had been collected by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who died in 2018. In respect of his wishes, the entire proceeds from the auction will be donated to charitable causes.

Many of the winning bids on Wednesday broke records for individual artists, and many surpassed auction house Christie's predicted sale prices.

Among them was Pointillist pioneer Georges Seurat's Les Poseuses, Ensemble (Petite version), an 1888 oil on canvas depicting three nude women. It raised a remarkable $149.2m including fees, which was a record for a Seurat piece.

Paintings from Gustav Klimt, Georgia O'Keefe, Claude Monet, David Hockney, Andrew Wyeth and Pablo Picasso also sold, along with sculptures by Alexander Calder and Max Ernst.

A 1905 print of a photograph by Edward Steichen, The Flatiron, sold for $11.8m, a record for a Steichen work and nearly four times Christie's highest estimate.

Additional pieces from Allen's collection will be offered at auction on Thursday.