Art History Lab

The Journey of Humanity” by Sacha Jafri: An Epic Painting of Hope and Unity

The Largest Painting in the World by Sacha Jafri

Sacha Jafri, a British artist, made history by creating the largest canvas painting in the world, titled “The Journey of Humanity.” The Guinness World Records certified it as the largest painting in the world, measuring 1,595.76 square meters in size. It was sold for charity on June 30, 2021, at Sotheby’s auction house in London, for a staggering $62 million.

Proceeds from the sale of the artwork went towards the funding of various humanitarian causes.

Creation of the Artwork

“The Journey of Humanity” was created during the Covid-19 shutdown period, spanning eight months of non-stop work. Sacha Jafri locked himself up in a room in Dubai and began working on the artwork.

The production details of the painting are impressive. It is made up of 70 smaller canvas panels that have been glued together to create the largest painting.

The artwork required 6,300 liters of paint, 1,700 paintbrushes, and more than 1,000 hours of footage documenting the painting process. Sacha Jafri used his hands and feet to apply the paint, bearing a physical impact on his body due to the intense physical activity required to create the massive painting.

He had no assistance during the painting process. However, he received support from the local community, who would visit him and encourage him to finish the artwork.

The painting is a visual compilation of the experience of humanity, chronicling the history of human civilization from the past to the present. It incorporates some of the most significant events in human history, including wars, pandemics, and iconic personalities.

Sale and Buyer of the Artwork

Sotheby’s set the reserve price of “The Journey of Humanity” at $2 million. The painting went on to sell for an overwhelming $62 million, exceeding the previous record for the largest canvas painting that stood at $30 million.

It was bought by Andre Abdoune, who plans to showcase the artwork in a museum that he is currently building. Abdoune plans to use part of the museum’s profits to fund humanitarian causes.

The largest canvas painting in the world has not only broken world records but has also made history by raising funds for charity. Sacha Jafri’s artwork has raised awareness and inspired others to continue contributing to humanitarian Sacha Jafri

Sacha Jafri is a British artist who schooled at Eton College and Oxford University.

After finishing his university studies in finance, he realized his passion for the fine arts and decided to pursue his artistic career. He trained himself in painting, sculpture, graphic design, and film production.

Style and Exhibitions

Sacha Jafri’s artwork style is detailed and colorful, with Street and Pop art elements. His artwork combines different painting styles, including impressionism, cubism, and modern art.

Jafri’s solo exhibits have taken place globally in cities such as New York, London, Hong Kong, and Dubai. His artwork has been exhibited in various galleries and museums, including Tate Modern London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Charitable Activities and Notable Collectors

Sacha Jafri’s artwork has made a significant impact in the philanthropic world, with numerous donations to various charitable causes. Some of his renowned artwork has been bought by notable collectors such as former US President Barack Obama, Paul McCartney, Madonna, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson.


In conclusion, Sacha Jafri is a talented artist renowned for his artistic creations, philanthropy, and contributions to humanitarian causes worldwide. His artwork has brought a different perspective to the world, opening the eyes of many to the challenges that people face every day.

Sacha Jafri’s latest project, the largest canvas painting in the world, is a testament to his passion, creativity, and dedication. It is sure to hold a place in history as a remarkable artwork that brought so much good to the world.

Sacha Jafri’s Process and Motivation

Sacha Jafri’s motivation to create “The Journey of Humanity” came from the negative stagnant energy that arose during the Covid-19 pandemic. Jafri perceived a need for cultural change in society.

The pandemic brought the negative impacts of humanity’s actions to the forefront, and Jafri used it as a chance to examine and celebrate humanity’s journey through the ages. He aimed to unite the world in the face of crisis and inspire viewers to come together for the good of all.

Creative Process and Physical Challenges

Creating the world’s largest painting came with its set of challenges. Jafri had to work on a large canvas, which required a different approach to his painting techniques.

As a self-proclaimed “control freak,” he had to learn to let go of control and allow the artwork to take shape. Additionally, he used a 1.5-inch brush for most of the painting, which gave him more control and allowed him to add intricate details to the painting.

The physical challenges implicit in creating the artwork were significant. As a result of Jafri’s standing-painting style, he had to have back surgery and receive painkiller injections to alleviate the discomfort and pain the position caused him.

Despite the physical challenges, Jafri continued to work tirelessly towards completing the artwork.

Details on the Sale and Auction

Plans for the Auction and Exhibition

After the painting’s completion, Sacha Jafri came up with a plan that would provide various people with a chance to own it. In his plan, he divided the painting into smaller artworks, representing the different stages of humanity, to make it accessible to more buyers.

The smaller artworks were sold in six auctions, which also raised money for different charities. The artwork’s first presentation after completion was at the World Economic Forum in 2021, where it was showcased as an example of how art can inspire change in society.

Upon the expiration of the term of the six auctions, the painting went on display at Atlantis, the Palm in Dubai, where it was exhibited until it sold at Sotheby’s. Sotheby’s and Auction Controversy

Upon the announcement of the “The Journey of Humanity” auction, there were allegations of fixed deals and corruption at Sotheby’s.

Art dealer Kenny Schachter accused Sotheby’s of collusion to fix prices and inflate market values, jeopardizing the transparency and trust of the art world’s auction system. Despite the allegations, Sotheby’s went on with the auction as planned.

However, speculation that the allegations were correct arose when Sotheby’s was dropped by the sellers of another huge artwork due to receive astronomical sums after they lost faith in the auction house.

Buyer Andre Abdoune and His Background

“The Journey of Humanity” was bought by a wealthy French tech entrepreneur, Andre Abdoune for a whopping $62 million. Abdoune made his fortune from the stock exchange and cryptocurrency.

He grew up in a poor family, which helps to explain his emotional attachment to the painting and why he decided to purchase it. Abdoune’s purchase of the record-breaking painting was significant as it marked his first art piece acquisition.

In an emotional statement, he stated that he had an overwhelming desire to contribute to humanity causes on a larger scale and that the painting would inspire him to do so. The fact that he paid the full amount in cash was equally significant.


Sacha Jafri’s artwork has an amazing effect on the social and humanitarian causes of humanity. His perfect combination of philanthropic art and maturity in emotional intelligence has been pulling him out of obscurity over the years.

Creating the largest painting in the world became a way to portray his concerns and inspire people worldwide to make a difference. Despite challenges, Jafri and Abdoune have shown that with passion, dedication, and a little bit of luck, anything is attainable, and just like the painting, humanity has the opportunity to create a brighter future for us all.

Insights and


As the largest canvas painting in the world, “The Journey of Humanity” has left a significant impact on the art world and the world at large. Here are some insights and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the artwork.

Significance of the Artwork

“The Journey of Humanity” portrays the journey of humanity through the ages, signifying hope, unity, and a positive impact on the world. The painting is a colorful and intricate narrative of the human experience that transcends race, color, creed, and borders.

It is a reflection of the collective human experience that can help us remember the pandemic and learn from our past to create hope for the future.

Location of the Artwork

“The Journey of Humanity” was exhibited at the Atlantis Hotel, Dubai, after the completion of its auction sale at Sotheby’s. The hotel made a special room for the artwork, equipped with temperature-controlled lighting and security for easy viewing.

The artwork is visible to all visitors and acts as an attraction for locals and international tourists. It is a source of inspiration for many who visit the hotel.

Exhibition Plans for the Artwork

The artwork has gained tremendous attention worldwide, and Sacha Jafri has stated that he plans to take it on a global tour before finally displaying it in a museum permanently. The painting is intended to go on tour in various galleries and museums worldwide for people to witness and interact with it.

Jafri has created a foundation called the Human Heritage Foundation, which aims to create a museum, which will display different artworks emphasizing humanity’s journey through the ages, focusing on children who are in need. If all goes well, the museum will have the painting “The Journey of Humanity” as its centerpiece.

The museum will be based in Jafri’s native land and plans to support underprivileged children in need of education, healthcare and provide them with the necessary materials to create their art. The museum’s goals include promoting art and culture, reviving cultural heritage, and fostering critical thinking and creativity to bridge the gap between humanities and the digital age.

It intends to provide free education and safe spaces for children to discover and develop their talents.


Q: What is “The Journey of Humanity” painting about? A: “The Journey of Humanity” is a representation of humanity’s journey through the ages, signifying hope, unity, and a positive impact on the world.

Q: Where is the artwork currently located? A: The artwork is currently located in the Atlantis Hotel, Dubai.

Q: What are the future exhibition plans for the artwork? A: Sacha Jafri plans to take the artwork on a global tour before finally displaying it permanently in a museum dedicated to showcasing art emphasizing humanity’s journey through the ages.

Q: What is the Human Heritage Foundation? A: The Human Heritage Foundation is a foundation created by Sacha Jafri to support underprivileged children in need of education, healthcare, and promote art and culture.

In conclusion, Sacha Jafri’s creation of the largest canvas painting in the world, “The Journey of Humanity,” holds great significance for both the art world and society as a whole. Through this artwork, Jafri aims to inspire unity, hope, and positive change in the world.

The painting’s location at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai provides a platform for visitors to experience its profound message. Furthermore, with plans for a global tour and a future permanent display in a museum, Jafri strives to promote education for underprivileged children and foster a deeper understanding of humanity’s journey.

“The Journey of Humanity” serves as a reminder of the resilience and strength humanity possesses during challenging times. It is an artistic testament to the power of art in bringing people together and inspiring positive change in the world.

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