The Most Expensive Painting in the World – Mysteries About Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi
Famous professor Martin Kemp announced in October 2022 that he had been invited to Saudi Arabia to examine Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Salvator Mundi, with the participation of security agencies.
“There are reasons why I hesitate but if it helps to bring Salvator Mundi to light then I am ready,” he went on to say. Martin Kemp is the author of Living with Leonardo and an art history professor emeritus at the University of Oxford. He was instrumental in determining that the painting was Leonardo’s before it was auctioned off.
The news raised hopes of Salvator Mundi’s reappearance. The painting “mysteriously disappeared” after a historic auction in 2017 that made it the most expensive masterpiece in the world.
Following the purchase of the painting, Saudi Prince Bader announced that it would be displayed at the Abu Dhabi Museum. The image, however, does not appear. The museum also did not explain why.
According to a Times investigation, the painting was transported to Zurich, Switzerland in the fall of 2018 for an insurance company’s evaluation. This activity, however, was canceled for no apparent reason. The painting is expected to be on display at the Louvre museum in Paris, France, in 2019. The museum later announced an indefinite postponement. “It is not possible to determine the current location of the famous painting,” said the staff here.
The painting was then kept on Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s yacht off the coast of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, until the cultural center in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, which was under construction, was inaugurated, according to Bloomberg. “It is unfair to art lovers all over the world to hide such a masterpiece,” said Dianne Modestini, a professor of Fine Arts at New York University who restored the paintings.
The painting was created between 1506 and 1513 under the patronage of King Louis XII of France, according to Artnews. The work was in the collection of King Charles I in England in the 17th century and hung in the private room of his wife, Queen Henrietta Maria. The painting later passed to their son, King Charles II.
After selling Buckingham Palace to King George III, Charles Herbert Sheffield, the illegitimate son of Duke of Buckingham John Sheffield, ordered the painting to be auctioned off in 1763. The painting is framed in gold leaf.
The work then vanished for 140 years, until it was purchased by collector Francis Cook from Sir John Charles Robinson in 1900. The painting has been damaged and is thought to be by Bernardino Luini, a student of Leonardo da Vinci. The painting is part of the Cook collection, which is housed at the Doughty House gallery in Richmond, London. The work was auctioned off for £45 at Sotheby’s in 1958. A group of American collectors paid $1,175 (28 million dong) for the painting in 2005 at a New Orleans auction gallery.
The work was included in the Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery in London in 2011. Sotheby’s sold it privately to painting broker Yves Bouvier for $80 million two years later. Bouvier then sold it for $ 127.5 million (VND 3.06 trillion) to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev. During a Christie’s New York session in 2017, Prince Bader bin Abdullah purchased the painting for a record $ 450.3 million (VND 10.8 trillion). The painting’s owner, according to US intelligence, was Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the Wall Street Journal. Instead, Bader simply stood in the auction.
Christie’s senior expert on pre-19th century painting, Alan Wintermute, compares the work to the discovery of a new planet. “The Salvator Mundi painting is the holy grail of master painters’ works before the nineteenth century.” “It’s like a mystical dream that was unattainable until now,” he explained.
According to businessman Robert Simon in the documentary The Lost Leonardo, when he purchased the work in 2005, he knew there were dozens of copies hanging in museums around the world, but the original was unknown.
According to a source close to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Simon brought the painting to the museum for inspection in 2006. The paintings were badly damaged and covered with many layers of paint at the time. “It’s ruins, dark and foreboding.” Ignorant people have restored it numerous times in the past. The restorer used artificial resin to repair it after it had turned gray. removed carefully. “When they removed the excess paint, the original paint was revealed,” the person explained. Dianne Dwyer Modestini, an art restorer and professor at New York University, later restored the painting.
In an interview with Artnews in 2011, Robert Simon stated that after extensive research and testing of signatures, materials, and drawing styles, experts have concluded that the Salvator Mundi painting is the original painted by Leonardo da Vinci.
The painting was shown at the National Gallery in London in 2011. Director Nicholas Penny invited four Leonardo experts to enjoy the exhibition prior to its opening. Everyone thought it was the artist’s masterpiece. Martin Kemp, one of those present at the time, told Artinfo that as soon as he saw the painting, he knew it was the artist’s original. “Leonardo was present. “The painting had a strange mystery to it,” he explained.
Many people believe that this is not a painting by a well-known artist. According to the Prado Museum in Spain, the paintings were painted by Leonardo’s students, with Leonardo only supervising the execution. According to Michael Daley, Director of ArtWatchUK, there is no evidence that the artist ever worked on a drawing about Salvator Mundi. According to some rumors, Salvator Mundi was destroyed and no longer exists in the world.
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