Leonardo da Vinci's 'Salvator Mundi' has mysterious ties to Louisiana

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 11:31:50 PM. A long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci will go up for auction in New York City on Wednesday, when it is expected to fetch well over $100 million.
A long-lost painting by Leonardo da Vinci will go up for auction in New York City on Wednesday, when it is expected to fetch well over $100 million. But a dozen years ago, the same painting — albeit obscured by time and the brush strokes of later artists — went up for sale at an auction house in Louisiana and sold for only $10,000. Not much is known about how “Salvator Mundi,” which depicts Jesus holding a clear orb and raising his right hand in blessing, came to be in Louisiana. At the time it was thought to have been painted by a member of Leonardo’s school. But New York art collector Robert Simon purchased it through an auction house somewhere in Louisiana in 2005 and set about cleaning off layers of paint that had been added over five centuries. By 2011, it was authenticated as the highly sought painting, whose title translates to “Savior of the World.” “It’s a major find,” said Walter Isaacson, the New Orleans native who recently published a biography of the renowned Italian Renaissance painter and inventor. “We only have about 15 fully finished paintings that Leonardo did.” The painting has been in the news several times in recent years, as a legal dispute erupted last year over the painting’s sale from a Swiss businessman to a Russian billionaire for $127 million. Its potential sale this Wednesday made news in the art world because Christie’s Auction House included it in an auction of contemporary art, despite its having been painted by one of the Old Masters. +2  ...Read more
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