Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450 m to Saudi Prince
Salvator Mundi, a painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci was just sold by Christie’s for US$450 million to a Saudi Prince Salman. A new art sales record.
Savior of the World or Salvator Mundi, a painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci was just sold by Christie’s for US$450 million to a Saudi Prince. Salvator Mundi depicts Jesus in Renaissance garb with raised right hand and crystal orb in the palm of his left, it was da Vinci’s way of communicating the Lord’s role as savior of men (crossed fingers) and master of universe, holding “heaven” in the left hand.
Long thought to be lost, Savior of the World was eventually recovered in 2005 by a consortium of dealers who found a heavily “restored” version of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi which had been so overpainted that it looked like a cheap copy, selling for less than US$10,000. It was eventually properly restored by NYU’s Dianne Dwyer Modestini and exhibited at the National Gallery in London from 2011 to 2012.
Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold for US$450 million
The famed painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci has been bought and sold over the years. In 2013 by Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier for just over US$75 million at a private sale brokered by Sotheby’s. It was eventually en-sold to Russian collector Dimtry Rybolovelev before going on tour to Hong Kong, London, San Francisco and New York where it was eventually sold at Christie’s for US$450,312,500. Though some mystery surrounded the purchaser, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was eventually identified by the Wall Street Journal as true buyer following initial reports that it was Prince Bader (who only served as an intermediary). It is the highest ever auctioned for a work of art, the last record being held by Pablo Picasso’s Women of Algiers (version O) for US$179.4 million. The highest known sale price was previously held by Willem de Kooning’s US$300 million Interchange, obviously both records have been broken.
The purchase comes at a time while Prince Salman is the midst of a corruption crackdown that is seeking to recover US$100 billion in “misplaced” wealth which has led to arrests of several high profile princes and senior officials.
The exclusive painting of Christ by da Vinci, also happens to be the last of his works, will be making its way to Louvre Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi museum is the first outside Paris to carry the Lourve name, given the global repute of the brand, playing home to da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi is a real coup for the brand-new museum. Considered to be the first ‘universal museum’ in the Arab world, the Lourve Abu Dhabi is one of three museums planned on the Emirati region.