Published: Thursday 16 November, 2017

Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ Painting Depicting Christ Sells for $450 Million!

A Da Vinci painting of Jesus Christ smashed the art auction record. ‘Salvator Mundi’ sold for $450.30 million at an auction in New York, more than doubling the previous record for the most expensive piece of art sold at auction.

Salvator Mundi painting

Is the Salvator Mundi and authentic Da Vinci painting? (EPA image via independent.co.uk)

‘Salvator Mundi’ was lost for years only to resurface in 2005. Although attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, some experts believe it isn’t a genuine Da Vinci painting. For one, experts noticed the ‘mistake’ in painting the crystal orb Christ is holding in his left hand. 

“Leonardo failed to paint the distortion that would occur when looking through a solid clear orb at objects that are not touching the orb,” wrote Walter Isaacson in his biography of Da Vinci.

“Solid glass or crystal, whether shaped like an orb or a lens, produces magnified, inverted, and reversed images,” Isaacson added. “Instead, Leonardo painted the orb as if it were a hollow glass bubble that does not refract or distort the light passing through it.”

Others experts point out that there’s practically no evidence that proves that Leonardo was ever involved in painting a Salvator Mundi subject.

Despite these, bidders for the Salvator Mundi did not seem to be affected. Frenzied bidding at Christie’s ended after 19 minutes in the full-packed hall in New York City.

The winning buyer has not been identified.