Da Vinci Masterpiece to be Auctioned for $100 Million at Christie’s New York
October 10, 2017
The last Da Vinci masterpiece is scheduled to be auctioned off for $100 Million at Christie’s New York in November 15. It is believed that fewer than 20 of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings survive and all of the others are in museums. The early 16th century painting, ‘Salvator Mundi’ (Savior of the World) is expected to sell for more than $100 million. See Robb Report article
The painting is currently owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. Christie’s in New York plans to offer the Da vinci for $100 million next month ‘“a record asking price for an Old Master at auction. The painting will be marketed alongside Andy Warhol’s ‘Sixty Suppers’, a wall-size silkscreen homage to the Da Vinci masterpiece, “The Last Supper”. The Warhol piece is projected to sell separately for $50 million. See Wall Street Journal article
According to Christie’s website, ‘Salvator Mundi’ is an oil on walnut panel and most likely was painted either at the end of Leonardo’s Milanese period in the later 1490’s (‘The Last Supper’) or slightly later in Florence (‘Mona Lisa’) where the artist moved in 1500. Records show that the painting belonged to King Charles I (1600-1649) and was sold at the ‘Commonwealth Sale’ on October 23, 1651. The painting was returned to the Crown by an act of Parliament when Charles II was restored to the throne. The painting disappeared from 1763 until 1900 when it was privately acquired and had been extensively altered. The painting was then auctioned in 1958 and disappeared again until 2005 when it was purchased from an American estate.
In 2007, an extensive restoration of the painting was completed by Dr. Dianne Dwyer Modestini who documented the process and concluded that the painting was an autograph work by Leonardo da Vinci. According to the Christie’s website: ‘Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time,’ says Loic Gouzer, Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s in New York. ‘˜The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honour that comes around once in a lifetime. Despite being created approximately 500 years ago, the work of Leonardo is just as influential to the art that is being created today as it was in the 15th and 16th centuries. We felt that offering this painting within the context of our Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale is a testament to the enduring relevance of this picture.’ See Christie’s Website
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