Picasso's 1955 "Les femmes d’Alger (Version 'O')" fetched nearly $40 million more than its estimated valuation of $140 million at Christie's May 11 evening auction of postwar and contemporary art, “Looking Forward To the Past." CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2015

Pablo Picasso's 1955 "Les femmes d’Alger (Version 'O'), with an estimated valuation of $140 million, was the centerpiece of Christie's Monday evening auction of postwar and contemporary art, “Looking Forward To the Past," which will continue throughout the week. And it didn't disappoint, fetching a record-breaking $179.3 million, the highest bid for a work of art ever made at an auction.

Alberto Giacometti's 1947 bronze sculpture "L'homme au doigt" (Pointing Man) had an estimate of $130 million. It, too, broke records for a sculpture sold at auction, selling for $141,285,000.

Artists Peter Doig and Jean Dubuffet broke auction records as well. Dubuffet's "Paris Polka" received a $24,805,00 bid, and Doig's "Swamped" realized $25,925,000.

Jussi Pylkkanen, Christie's global president and foremost auctioneer, had said at a press event Monday morning that this week’s auction of postwar and contemporary art, “Looking Forward to the Past,” would "break records." The auctioneer, who sold over $2 billion worth of art for Christie's last year and will preside over the weeklong sale of 1,100 works of art in all, said that he considered the art up for auction this week “the greatest group of art works we’ve ever worked with in 28 years."