Leonardo da Vinci painting

Leonardo da Vinci Painting Smashes World Records with $450 Million Sale

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Leonardo da Vinci painting recently discover to be an original. It was sold for a record-pulverizing $450 million in New York Wednesday night.

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” has become the most expensive artwork to ever sell at auction. It is going for $450.3 million at Christie’s in New York. Dating back to around 1500 the rare painting is one of fewer than 20 authenticated works by the Italian in existence.

Original estimates for Leonardo da Vinci painting

Original estimates predict bids of over $100 million for the piece. But the new record set after approximately 20 minutes of telephone bidding. Far surpassing the previous auction record held by Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger,” which sold for $179.4 million in 2015.

Although lacking the detail and clarity of the “Mona Lisa”. which was created in approximately the same period. “Salvator Mundi” attract crowds of visitors during pre-auction viewings in London, Hong Kong and San Francisco. It depicts Jesus Christ in Renaissance clothing, one hand raised in blessing and the other holding a crystal orb.
First commissioned by Louis XII of France, the 26 inch tall by 18 inch wide oil painting was later own by England’s Charles I. But the artwork presume lost since the late 18th century.
When “Salvator Mundi” reappear at auction in 1958. it was dismiss as a copy and sale for £45 ($59). Acquire by a group of art dealers for less than $10,000 in 2005, the painting. Which was in poor condition and heavily over paint. It  was painstakingly restore and subsequently authenticate.
The record-breaking price tag will come as a relief to previous owner Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian businessman, who bought the painting for $127.5 milion in 2013.

Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev bought it for $127.5 million in 2013.

Some still doubt the work’s authenticity, claiming it is too boring to be a Leonardo masterpiece.

“Even making allowances for its extremely poor state of preservation. It is a curiously unimpressive composition. And it is hard to believe that Leonardo himself was responsible for anything. So dull,” said Charles Hope, a professor emeritus at the Warburg Institute at the University of London.

However, four years ago, a Russian buy collector for $127.5m (£98m). But that was a private sale not at auction.

Christie’s in New York place a starting bid of $100m at its auction of post-war and contemporary art.

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