Da Vinci's 'Male Mona Lisa' expected to sell for $100 million

Source:sputniknews.com Published: 2017/10/12 22:46:47

The recently recovered final painting of Leonardo da Vinci is about to get auctioned for at least $100 million at Christie's in New York.

Salvador Mundi, or the Savior of the World, the last of Leonardo da Vinci's paintings, will be put up for sale at Christie's auction in New York this month, and is expected to rake in at least $100 million, according to the New York Post.

The painting, nicknamed the "Male Mona Lisa" because of its similarity to the master's best-known masterpiece, is the only privately owned da Vinci work. In fact, there are fewer than 20 paintings that can be unequivocally attributed to da Vinci's hand.

Originally painted in 1500s, the painting decorated the palace of England's King Charles I until it was auctioned by the son of the Duke of Buckingham and Normandy in 1763. After that, the painting reappeared only in 1900, when it was purchased by Francis Cook, a British collector. The picture was painted over in a clumsy restoration attempt that tricked experts into believing it was a copy by da Vinci's follower Bernardino Luini.

In 1958, Cook's descendants sold the supposed copy for only about $50. In 2005, the painting was acquired by a consortium of art dealers, who restored the painting and initiated an authentication procedure. It took six years to attribute "Salvador Mundi" to the great master himself.

The most recent appearance of the painting was in 2015 when its last publicly known owner, Russian collector Dmitri Rybolovlev, reportedly accused his art dealer Yves Bouvier of financial fraud. The current owner of the painting has not been disclosed.

"Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time," Loic Gouzer, chairman of postwar and contemporary art for Christie's New York, said in a statement released by the auction house.

Another painting, a revision of The Last Supper by pop art icon Andy Warhol, will also be auctioned at Christie's, with the initial cost of the lot being about $50 million, the auction house's press release says.

Posted in: ART

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