Da Vinci Painting Was Lost for Centuries, Now Will Be Auctioned Off Next Month
A painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the ‘Salvator Mundi’ dating back to the 1500s, is now up for auction. It is one of approximately 20 paintings crafted by the famous Renaissance artist. The painting was drawn at the same time period of the painter’s life as the Mona Lisa. It is anticipated that the auction price will exceed $100 million. Such is its value, that Alan Wintermute of Christie’s-a premier auction house- has termed this particular piece the ‘Holy Grail’ of medieval master paintings. Wintermute is an art specialist. The Salvator Muni is an ethereal portrait. Jesus Christ makes up the subject of the painting. The portrait is known in niche circles as male Mona Lisa. It was thought to be destroyed or lost during the intervening centuries.
The Salvator Mundi painting will be auctioned off by Christie’s in the auction house’s November 15 sale in New York. This masterpiece will be sold off among a collection of contemporary art and post-war art. The masterpiece has already done rounds in public exhibitions held in San Francisco, Hong Kong, and London. Loic Gouzer, the chairman of Christie’s contemporary and post-war art, told the media that the picture has an unmatched enduring relevance.
The Salvator Mundi depicts Jesus Christ in bright crimson and blue robes clutching a crystal orb. The provenance of the painting starts from King Charles I’s private collection. The first auction of the Da Vinci classic was in 1763. The masterpiece then vanished until the early 20th century. When it was rediscovered, it was found that Christ’s face and hair were painted over- a common practice in those days.
A US citizen purchased the painting in 1958. He paid only 45 pounds for this priceless specimen of work. The Salvator Mundi was resold in 2005 for a small sum as an overpainted copy of masterwork. The new owner began the restoration process. The owner was not identified as per request. The individual is believed to a private art collection and a Europe resident. Six years of diligent research followed and the painting was authenticated. Experts unanimously concluded that the framed portrait was indeed drawn by da Vinci about 500 years back. Soon after the painting was validated, the National Gallery of London held a high profile exhibition in 2011. The painting stands to record as the first da Vinci painting discovered since 1909.