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Painted 1506


Salvator Mundi (Latin for ''Savior of the World'') is a painting attributed in whole or in part to the Italian High Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated to c. 1499–1510. Long thought to be a copy of a lost original veiled with overpainting, it was rediscovered, restored by Dianne Dwyer Modestini, Clinical Professor at the Institute of Art, NYU, and included in Luke Syson's major Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery, London, in 2011-12.  Christies claimed just after selling the work that most leading scholars consider it to be an original work by Leonardo, endorsed by Martin Kemp, one of the world’s leading authorities on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci, but this attribution has been disputed by other specialists, some of whom posit that he only contributed certain elements.


In 2005, a Salvator Mundi was presented and acquired at an auction for US $1,175  by a consortium of art dealers that included Alexander Parrish and Robert Simon, a specialist in Old Masters. It was sold from the estate of Baton Rouge businessman Basil Clovis Hendry Sr., (who bought it for 45 UK Pounds -US $100 in 1958). It had been heavily overpainted, to the point where the painting resembled a copy, and was, before restoration, described as "a wreck, dark and gloomy“. Alexander Parrish and Robert Simon commissioned Dianne Dwyer Modestini at New York University to oversee the restoration, which she completed in 2007.

In May 2013, Russian oligarch, Dmitry Rybolovlev hired Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier to purchase the painting. Bouvier bought it for just over US$75 million in a private sale brokered by Sotheby's, New York. 48 Hours later Bouvier sold it to Rybolovlev for US$127.5 million. The price that Rybolovlev paid was therefore significantly higher, well beyond the 2 percent commission Bouvier was supposed to receive, according to Rybolovlev himself.  Consequently, this sale—along with several other sales Bouvier made to Rybolovlev—created a legal dispute between Rybolovlev and Bouvier, as well as between the original dealers of the painting and Sotheby's. In 2016, the dealers sued Sotheby's for the difference of the sale, arguing they were shortchanged. The auction house has denied knowing that Rybolovlev was the intended buyer and sought to dismiss the lawsuit. In 2018, Rybolovlev also sued Sotheby's for $380 million, alleging the auction house knowingly participated in a defrauding scheme by Bouvier, in which the painting played a part.


On November 15, 2017, the painting was then sold at auction for US$450.3 million by Christie's in New York to Prince Badr bin Abdullah, setting a new record for most expensive painting ever sold at public auction. Prince Badr allegedly made the purchase on behalf of Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism, but it has since been posited that he may have been a stand-in bidder for his close ally and Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. This follows late-2017 reports that the painting would be put on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the unexplained cancellation of its scheduled September 2018 unveiling. The current location of the painting has been reported as unknown, but a June 2019 report stated that it was being stored on bin Salman's yacht, pending completion of a cultural center in Al-`Ula  and an October 2019 report indicated it may be in storage in Switzerland.



Source  Wikipedia

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