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Da Vinci painting set to fetch £75 million at auction

posted on 13/10/17

The only Da Vinci painting still in private hands is set to fetch an estimated £75 million at auction in New York. One of around only 15 paintings known to be by the artist, Salvator Mundi has had an eventful history.

The work was painted by Da Vinci for King Louis XII of France between 1506 and 1513, before passing into the hands of the prolific art collector King Charles I of England where it was recorded in 1649. The painting was subsequently auctioned over a century later in 1763, by the illegitimate son of the Duke of Buckingham; Charles Sheffield, following the sale of Buckingham Palace to the Royal Family.

The painting disappeared from records until 1900, when it re-emerged as a painting supposedly by Bernardino Luini, a member of Da Vinci’s North Italian circle. Purchased by curator Sir Charles Robinson, it resided in Richmond’s Cook Collection until 1958, when it was sold for just £45. It was only in 2011, 6 years after the painting had been purchased by a consortium of American businessmen, that it was conclusively attributed to Da Vinci and included in the National Gallery’s blockbuster exhibition of that year. It was the first discovery of a Da Vinci painting since 1909, and on Tuesday, as they unveiled the piece, Christie’s New York described the find as “the biggest discovery of the 21st century”.

Salvator Mundi is to be transported to Hong Kong, San Francisco and London before being sold by Christie’s, New York on 15 November.

You can view an early version of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa at the Prado Museum in Madrid on The Genius of Spanish Painting – which similarly to Salvator Mundi was only re-identified as being by the artist in the 21st century; after restoration.


By Miles Rowland, Digital Marketing Assistant


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