Recently attributed to Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvator Mundi is a painting of Christ as the Saviour of the World. Leonardo painted the subject for Louis XII between 1506 and 1513. The work of art shows Christ giving a benediction with his raised right hand and crossed fingers while holding a crystal sphere in his left hand. The painting disappeared from 1763 to 1900, when it was purchased by British collector Francis Cook, 1st Viscount of Monserrate. The picture had been damaged by previous restorations and for this reason its paternity was unsure.
In 1958 Cook’s descendants sold the painting at an auction for £ 45. Since then it has undergone various restorations until it was authenticated as a painting by Leonardo da Vinci and was exhibited in London’s National Gallery during the Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan exhibition from November 2011 and February 2012. Painted during the same timeframe as The Monna Lisa, this painting is rightly considered the Holy Grail of old master paintings, since for a long time it was known to exist and had been much sought.
Sold in 2013 to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $ 127.5 million, it will now be sold on November 15th by Christie’s in New York. Bids are expected to top $ 100 million.