Only da Vinci in private hands set to fetch £75m at auction  

11:52 • 11.10.17



The only Leonardo da Vinci painting in private hands, which fetched just £45 at a sale in 1958, is to be sold at auction with an estimate of $100m (£75m), The Guardian reports.

Salvator Mundi, one of the 15 or so known to be by the artist, was lost for centuries before its authenticity was confirmed in 2011.


Christie’s in New York on Tuesday unveiled what it called “the biggest discovery of the 21st century” – the haunting, mesmerising painting of Christ holding a crystal orb in his left hand and raising his right in benediction.


Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World) was, and is, enormously significant because of its rarity. It is the first discovery of a Leonardo painting since 1909.


Loic Gouzer, Christie’s chair of postwar and contemporary art in New York, said bringing it to the market was a “once in a lifetime” honour.


“Standing in front of his paintings, it becomes impossible for one’s mind to fully unravel or comprehend the mystery radiating from them – both the Mona Lisa and Salvator Mundi are perfect examples of this. No one will ever be able to fully grasp the wonder of Leonardo’s paintings, just as no one will ever be able to fully know the origins of the universe.”


News of the painting’s existence emerged in 2011 when it was included in the National Gallery’s blockbuster Leonardo exhibition. It was known that Leonardo had produced a painting of that name, but it was assumed it had long ago been destroyed.

 





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