Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi suggests the cross-fertilisation of ideas and practices that we take for granted today has a much longer history.
Smashing the record for any work of art sold at an auction, the long-lost painting of Jesus Christ – Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci – has sold at Christie’s in New York for $ 450.3 million: nearly half a billion dollars.
Salvator Mundi was painted around 1500 and was presumed to be lost until early this century. It was consigned to Dmitry Rybolovlev – a Russian fertiliser billionaire – who had acquired it from a Paris-based dealer Yves Bouvier for $127m, who had, in turn, acquired it from Sotheby’s in a private sale in 2013 for $50m less.
The price escalation of the painting from $77m in 2013 to $450.3m in 2017 is unprecedented and astonishing.