A painting of Christ by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci sold for a record $450 million (380 million euros) at auction on Wednesday.
The painting, called “Salvator Mundi,” Italian for “Savior of the World,” is one of fewer than 20 paintings by Leonardo known to exist and the only one in private hands.
The 26-inch-tall (66-centimetre-tall) painting dates from around 1500 and shows Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left-hand holds a crystal sphere.
Its path from Davinci’s workshop to the auction block at Christie’s was not smooth. Once owned by King Charles I of England, it disappeared from view until 1900, when it resurfaced and was acquired by a British collector. At that time it was attributed to a Leonardo disciple, rather than to the master himself.
The painting was sold again in 1958 and then acquired in 2005, badly damaged and partly painted-over, by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than $10,000 (8,445 euros). The art dealers restored the painting and documented its authenticity as a work by Leonardo
Editor: Frizel Francis