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History of largest painting in the world: Separate museum will be built for it

History of largest painting in the world: Separate museum will be built for it History of the largest painting in the world (Collage by RBC-Ukraine)

British artist Sacha Jafri created the largest painting in the world during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020. He worked on the painting, The Journey of Humanity, for several months and later sold it at auction for a significant sum.

Who is Sacha Jafri?

British artist Sacha Jafri is quite popular, with clients such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, and Barack Obama.

He was born in Britain in 1977 and came from the royal Nawab family of Awadh. His mother is of French descent, and his father was a diplomat who served as Pakistan's ambassador to the Vatican.

Sacha Jafri studied at Eton College and earned a master's degree in educational art from Oxford University in 2000.

Currently, Jafri works outside the conventional gallery system and donates many of his works or the proceeds from them to charity. His collectors include Barack Obama, members of the British royal family, Sir Richard Branson, Paul McCartney, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates, Madonna, David Beckham, George Clooney, and Eva Longoria.

Prince Charles commissioned Jafri to create portraits of "the 14 most influential Muslims."

The Journey of Humanity

In 2020, Sacha Jafri created the world's largest painting, The Journey of Humanity. It took nearly seven months to complete. The painting covers an area of 1600 square meters (about two football fields) and includes works by children from 140 countries. The children's drawings served as inspiration for Jafri.

He had the idea to combine the emotions and experiences of the planet's young inhabitants into a single space.

The project was conceived after a conversation with UNICEF, where Jafri learned that 385 million children worldwide live in poverty. These children are twice as likely to die in childhood as others, and these numbers have more than doubled recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jafri saw an opportunity to make a difference.

The artist said, "My painting The Journey of Humanity will support the delivery of improved education, healthcare, and connectivity, as well as create vital funds in support of the poorest and most desperately in need areas and regions of our planet. I hope that my ground-breaking creation will help to further advocate global logistical support for health and sanitation within the worst-hit refugee camps, slums, townships, shanties, favelas, and poverty-stricken communities of the world."

History of largest painting in the world: Separate museum will be built for it

The largest painting in the world, The Journey of the Humanity (photo: My Modern Met)

"Children do not have the tools to deal with what they're going through right now. I wanted to put a call out to the children of the world, to basically give them a chance express themselves emotionally," noted Sacha Jafri.

While working on the painting, the artist used 1,065 brushes and 6,300 liters of paint. The Journey of Humanity is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest painting in the world.

Jafri admitted that the work was very challenging and he ruptured two discs, but he did not want to stop. Every day, he would wake up, drink coffee, hug his daughter, and put on his "painting suit."

The Briton worked on the massive piece for eight months in the lobby of the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai, which was closed due to the lockdown. Initially, he planned to create a single canvas.

However, he later decided to divide it into 70 equal parts for easier auctioning. For all 70 parts, the artist expected to receive about 30 million dollars. He planned to donate this amount to charitable foundations to help children.

History of largest painting in the world: Separate museum will be built for it

Sasha Jafri and his painting The Journey of Humanity (photo: Uncrate)

Sale of the painting and its subsequent fate

However, things did not go according to Jafri's plan. At the auction, French cryptocurrency businessman Andre Abdoune made an incredible offer to the artist. He announced that he was willing to pay $62 million for the entire canvas.

On March 21, 2021, the gigantic painting was sold at a Sotheby's auction in Dubai for $62 million. This made it one of the most expensive paintings in the world sold during the artist's lifetime.

The new owner decided to build a dedicated museum for the world's largest painting.

Previously, we wrote about the most famous paintings by the brilliant poet and artist Taras Shevchenko.

Sources used in preparing the material: Wikipedia, Womo, BBC, suzannelovellinc.