NEW YORK (Reuters) – Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of Christ “Salvator Mundi” offered for a record-smashing $450.three million on Wednesday at Christie’s in New York — greater than double the previous mark for any murals at public sale.
The portray, which as soon as offered for a mere $125, was solely just lately rediscovered. It was the final da Vinci left in non-public fingers and fetched greater than 4 instances the Christie’s pre-sale estimate of about $100 million.
The worth was greater than twice the previous file for any murals, set by Picasso’s “Les Femmes D‘Alger,” which offered for $179.four million in Might 2015.
“Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World) was bought by an unidentified purchaser bidding through phone after a protracted bidding battle that stretched to just about 20 minutes on the New York public sale home.
The restored portrait, an ethereal depiction of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500, is certainly one of fewer than 20 work by the Renaissance artist identified to nonetheless exist.
First recorded within the non-public assortment of King Charles I, the work was auctioned in 1763 earlier than vanishing till 1900, by which period Christ’s face and hair had been painted over — as soon as a “fairly frequent” apply, in accordance with Alan Wintermute, Christie’s senior specialist for Outdated Grasp work.
Offered at Sotheby’s to an American collector in 1958 for under 45 kilos (then about $126), it once more offered in 2005 as an overpainted copy of the masterwork.
The brand new proprietor began the restoration course of, and after some six years of analysis it was authenticated as da Vinci’s greater than 500-year-old masterpiece, which culminated in a high-profile exhibition at London’s Nationwide Gallery in 2011.
Christie’s didn’t establish the vendor apart from to say it was a European non-public collector who acquired the work after its rediscovery in 2005 and prolonged restoration.
However media studies recognized him as Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $127.5 million in 2013 in a personal sale.
The portray stands as the primary discovery of a da Vinci portray since 1909.
Reporting by Chris MichaudEditing by Sandra Maler
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