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Thursday, 11 June 2020

The World's Most Expensive Painting may not be Authentic | Salvator Mundi

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝’𝐬 𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐄𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐏𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐚𝐲 𝐍𝐨𝐭 𝐛𝐞 𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐜

How the Salvator Mundi, a 400+ million-dollar painting may not be made by who it was thought to be - Leonardo da Vinci.

The Salvator Mundi was Leonardo da Vinci’s last work and was sold in 2017 for over $450 million, the highest a painting has ever been auctioned, but now people are coming and questioning the origins behind the painting and whether it truly is a da Vinci or just a copy.

Given the history of the painting, it’s getting ‘lost’ and its rediscovery, several critics say that the painting is a fake because of either the second thumb or the glass orb’s complete transparency; the latter an error that one like da Vinci would never commit, since an object through the orb should be distorted. However, its authenticity remains to be known, but the world’s most expensive painting may indeed be a fake.

Salvator Mundi  painting


THE SALVATOR MUNDI

• The Salvator Mundi is a painting allegedly made by Leonardo da Vinci, depicting Jesus' form as Salvator Mundi (Latin for 'Savior of the World'). 

• It is the most expensive painting to be ever sold at auction, for a whopping $450,312,500 at Christie's in New York on 15 November 2017. 

• It was purchased by Saudi Arabian prince Badr bin Abdullah, allegedly as an intermediary for the controversial crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

QUESTIONABLE ORIGINS OF THE PAINTING


• The Mundi is one of da Vinci's best-known pieces of art, with countless copies made by numerous artists. 

Its existence was known since the 1500s but the original was thought to be lost after the mid-17th century. 

• It was passed around all over Europe until 2005 where a heavily overpainted, badly restored damaged painting was sold as a copy to a consortium for less than $10,000.

REGARDED TO BE 'AUTHENTIC'


• A conservationist found a pentimento (earlier draft) of the painting which had the blessing hand's thumb in a straight, rather than curved, position. 

• The discovery that Christ had two thumbs on his right hand was evidence that this is not a copy, since copiers would have no doubts about composition. 

• The work was subsequently authenticated as a painting by Leonardo and displayed in various galleries as a work of da Vinci, until it was sold and sold again at Christie's in 2017.

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BUT IS IT A TRUE DA VINCI?


• Although a lot of Art Curators have called it an original, there are many who believe that it is not a true da Vinci. 

• They say that the perspective of the painting was not correct, as da Vinci had never before painted subjects with their chests facing forward. 

• Conjecture is it may have been made by one of his students or assistants, where he may have made a few brushstrokes on the canvas, but has not truly painted the painting.

DISAPPEARANCE SINCE THE CHRISTIE'S AUCTION


• The painting, which was to be displayed at the Louvre, Abu Dhabi, has not been seen in public since the auction in 2017. 

• Its unveiling was scheduled for 18 September 2017- a big moment. But at the start of September, this was suddenly and mysteriously postponed. 

• There were many questions made regarding its absence, even from the Louvre's Paris exhibition of Leonardo in late 2019.

THE $400 MN PAINTING COULD BE FAKE


• It is said that it is not being displayed, as its origins are being questioned, even being called "a third-rate imitation" by some scholars. 

• Another source from June 2019 report stated that it was being stored on bin Salman's luxury yacht, and an October 2019 report indicated it may be in storage in Switzerland. 

• It is still unknown, however, whether the $400 million painting is even an original - for, it may just have been a fake that became the world's most expensive painting.

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