The extraordinary transaction - which gallery owner Jutta Nexdorf claims is the first of its kind - fetched €150,000 ($219,000), with the main stipulation being that the 35-hour work can be removed from the bearer's skin upon death and handed to its owner.
The owner will also be allowed to sell the tattoo, created by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye. It is notable for depicting the mother of Jesus with a lifeless skull.
Proceeds from the sale are being shared among the gallery, tattoo bearer Tim Steiner and Delvoye, Nexdorf told AFP. The tattoo will go on show for the first time next week in Singapore and Shanghai.