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Christie's Unveils a Lost Leonardo da Vinci in NY

Christie's Unveils a Lost Leonardo da Vinci in NY”

It will be auctioned at Christie's as part of the postwar and contemporary art evening sale on November 15 (an unorthodox move, François de Poortere, Christie's head of department, Old Masters, said on Tuesday, but both a show of unity for the auction house and the work's transcendent nature), and the estimated price is $100 million. The auction will take place November 15. It shows Christ in flowing blue robes while holding a crystal orb in his left hand and raising his right hand in a blessing, the Times said.

In the early 2000s, the work was owned by a consortium of dealers including Warren Adelson, president of Adelson Galleries, and dealers Alexander Parish and Robert Simon, after Parish picked up a canvas at an estate sale that he believed to be a Leonardo copy. The estimate is in the region of $100 million US. In 2011, it made a public debut in an exhibition at the National Gallery in London before selling privately in 2014.

When asked whether Salvator Mundi's involvement in complaints filed across the world would affect its sale, or at least the optics of it, Christie's postwar and contemporary chairman, Loic Gouzer, who secured the work, said, "We can not comment about sellers, but it has every passport, every visa".

Salvator Mundi is next recorded in a 1763 sale by Charles Herbert Sheffield, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Buckingham, who put it into auction following the sale of what is now Buckingham Palace to the king.

Fewer than 20 works by Da Vinci, whose art was already highly sought after during his lifetime, have survived to this day - all of them held in museum or institutional collections, with the exception of "Salvator Mundi".

The oil painting dates to around 1500.

"This is truly the Holy Grail of art rediscoveries", said Alan Wintermute, Christie's senior specialist for Old Master paintings, explaining that the portrait sometimes called the male Mona Lisa had always been thought to have been lost or destroyed. In the dispersal of the Cook Collection, it was ultimately consigned to a sale at Sotheby's in 1958 where it sold for £45.

Da Vinci's works have been sold for staggering sums in the past.

Despite being half a millennium old, it's being sold in the contemporary sale to complement the auction's other blockbuster lot: Andy Warhol's Sixty Last Suppers (1986), a Warhol painting of Leonardo's masterpiece silkscreened 60 times so that it stretches to the same massive size as the original.

The work will travel to Hong Kong, San Francisco and London, before spending three days on display in NY leading up to the sale. Christie's called the painting the "biggest discovery of the 21st century" and "a bigger deal than discovering a new planet".



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