Salvator Mundi is a painting of Christ as Salvator Mundi (Latin for "Savior of the World") by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, dated to c. 1500. The painting shows Jesus, in Renaissance dress, giving a benediction with his right hand raised and two fingers extended, while holding a transparent rock crystal orb in his left hand, signaling his role as savior of the world and master of the cosmos, and representing the 'crystalline sphere' of the heavens, as it was perceived during the Renaissance. Around 20 other versions of the work are known, by students and followers of Leonardo. Preparatory chalk and ink drawings of the drapery by Leonardo are held in the Royal Collection.
Long thought to be a copy of a lost original, veiled with overpainting, it was restored, rediscovered, and included in a major Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery, London, in 2011–12. Although several leading scholars consider it to be an original work by Leonardo da Vinci, this attribution has been disputed by other specialists.
It is one of fewer than 20 known works by Leonardo, and was the only one to remain in a private collection. It was sold at auction by Christie's in New York to Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Farhan on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism on 15 November 2017, for $450.3 million, setting a new record for most expensive painting ever sold. The painting is to be on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi may have been painted for Louis XII of France and his consort, Anne of Brittany. It was probably commissioned around 1500, shortly after Louis conquered the Duchy of Milan and took control of Genoa in the Second Italian War. Leonardo himself moved from Milan to Florence in 1500.
It may have come to England with Henrietta Maria when she married Charles I of England in 1625, and it seems to have remained in her private chambers at the Queen's House in Greenwich. Wenceslaus Hollar made an engraving of the painting, published in Antwerp in 1650 with the inscription Leonardus da Vinci pinxit (Latin for 'Leonardo da Vinci painted it').
Charles I was executed in 1649 at the end of the English Civil War, and the painting was included in a 1649 inventory of the Royal Collection, valued at £30. Charles’s possessions were sold under the English Commonwealth, and the painting was sold in 1651 to John Stone, a mason, to settle a debt, but it was returned to Charles II of England after the English Restoration in 1660, and included in an inventory of Charles’s possessions at the Palace of Whitehall in 1666. It was inherited by James II of England and may then have passed to his mistress Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester, whose illegitimate daughter with James became the third wife of John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby. His own illegitimate son, Sir Charles Herbert Sheffield, 1st Baronet, auctioned the painting in 1763 along with other artworks from Buckingham House, when the building was sold to George III.
The painting then disappeared from the records until it was bought by a British collector, Francis Cook, 1st Viscount of Monserrate, in 1900, for his collection at Doughty House in Richmond. The painting was damaged from previous restoration attempts, and has been attributed to a follower of Leonardo, Bernardino Luini. Cook's great grandson, Sir Francis Cook, 4th Baronet, sold it at auction in 1958 for £45, as a work by Leonardo's pupil Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio. The painting remained attributed to Boltraffio until 2011.
No. 5, 1948 is a painting by Jackson Pollock, an American painter known for his contributions to the abstract expressionist movement. It was sold in May 2006 for $140 million, a new mark for highest ever price for a painting, not surpassed for the first time until April 2011.
The painting was created on fibreboard, also known as composition board, measuring 8’ x 4’. For the paint, Pollock chose to use liquid paints. More specifically, they were synthetic resin paints (gloss enamel) but are referred to as oil paints for classification of the work. On inspection it was grey, brown, white and yellow paint drizzled in a way that many people still perceive as a "dense bird’s nest". Initial reactions to the work by the uninitiated were underwhelming:
"You spent money on 'that'?"
The initial reaction of Ted Dragon, Ossorio's partner.
Jackson Pollock: 1948 - January 1949
Alfonso A. Ossorio: January 1949 - Unknown
Samuel Irving Newhouse, Jr.: Unknown - Unknown
David Geffen: Unknown - November 2006
Unknown, possibly David Martinez: November 2006 – Present
According to a report in The New York Times on November 2, 2006, the painting was sold by David Geffen, founder of Geffen Records and co-founder of DreamWorks SKG, to David Martinez, managing partner of Fintech Advisory Ltd, in a private sale for a record inflation-adjusted price of $140 million. It is speculated that Geffen sold the painting, along with two others, to raise enough funds to bid for the Los Angeles Times. The sale was reportedly brokered by Sotheby's auctioneer Tobias Meyer, however, the law firm of Shearman & Sterling, LLP, issued a press release on behalf of its client, David Martinez, to announce that contrary to recent articles in the press, Martinez does not own the painting or any rights to acquire it. In addition to the refutation issued by Shearman & Sterling, the auction expert Josh Baer indicated that Martinez was not the buyer of the painting.
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