Salvator mundi painting :one of the record breaking since 2017 for $405.3 million.

“Salvator Mundi” is a renowned painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. It depicts Jesus Christ in Renaissance clothing, holding a crystal orb, symbolizing his role as Savior of the World. The painting’s exquisite details, such as the intricate drapery and lifelike expression, demonstrate Leonardo’s mastery of artistry. Despite its age, the painting’s power to captivate viewers remains undiminished.

The “Salvator Mundi” painting was sold at auction in November 2017 for a record-breaking $450.3 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at the time.

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.[n 1] Long thought to be a copy of a lost original veiled with overpainting, it was rediscovered, restored, and included in an exhibition of Leonardo’s work at the National Gallery, London, in 2011–2012.[2] Christie’s, who sold the work in 2017, stated that most leading scholars consider it an original work by Leonardo, but this attribution has been disputed by other leading specialists, some of whom propose that he only contributed certain elements; and others who believe that the extensive restoration prevents a definitive attribution.

Salvator Mundi
ArtistLeonardo da Vinci (alone) or Leonardo with workshop participation
Yearc. 1499–1510[n 1]
TypeOil on walnut panel
Dimensions45.7 cm × 65.7 cm (25.8 in × 19.2 in)
OwnerAcquired by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism for the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Currently owned by Mohammad bin Salman.[1]

The painting depicts Jesus Christ in an anachronistic blue Renaissance dress, making the sign of the cross with his right hand, while holding a transparent, non-refracting crystal orb in his left, signalling his role as Salvator Mundi and representing the ‘celestial sphere‘ of the heavens. Approximately thirty copies and variations of the work by pupils and followers of Leonardo have been identified.[3] Two preparatory chalk and ink drawings of the drapery by Leonardo are held in the British Royal Collection.[4][5]

The painting was sold at auction for US$450.3 million on 15 November 2017 by Christie’s in New York to Prince Badr bin Abdullah Al Saud, setting a new record for the 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,[6][7] but shortly thereafter it was reported that he was a stand-in bidder for his close ally, the Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.[8] The painting has not been publicly exhibited since the 2017 Christie’s auction, and since late 2020 has been in storage in Saudi Arabia reportedly awaiting a museum and cultural center to be completed in Al-‘Ula.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top