Quantcast
Connect with us

Da Vinci portrait of Christ sells for record $450 million in New York

Published

on

By Chris Michaud

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Leonardo da Vinci’s portrait of Christ “Salvator Mundi” sold for a record-smashing $450.3 million on Wednesday at Christie’s in New York — more than double the old mark for any work of art at auction.

The painting, which once sold for a mere $125, was only recently rediscovered. It was the last da Vinci left in private hands and fetched more than four times the Christie’s pre-sale estimate of about $100 million.

ADVERTISEMENT

The price was more than twice the old record for any work of art, set by Picasso’s “Les Femmes D’Alger,” which sold for $179.4 million in May 2015.

“Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World) was purchased by an unidentified buyer bidding via telephone after a protracted bidding war that stretched to nearly 20 minutes at the New York auction house.

The restored portrait, an ethereal depiction of Jesus Christ which dates to about 1500, is one of fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance artist known to still exist.

First recorded in the private collection of King Charles I, the work was auctioned in 1763 before vanishing until 1900, by which time Christ’s face and hair had been painted over — once a “quite common” practice, according to Alan Wintermute, Christie’s senior specialist for Old Master paintings.

Sold at Sotheby’s to an American collector in 1958 for only 45 pounds (then about $126), it again sold in 2005 as an overpainted copy of the masterwork.

ADVERTISEMENT

The new owner started the restoration process, and after some six years of research it was authenticated as da Vinci’s more than 500-year-old masterpiece, which culminated in a high-profile exhibition at London’s National Gallery in 2011.

Christie’s did not identify the seller other than to say it was a European private collector who acquired the work after its rediscovery in 2005 and lengthy restoration.

But media reports identified him as Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who paid $127.5 million in 2013 in a private sale.

ADVERTISEMENT

The painting stands as the first discovery of a da Vinci painting since 1909.

(Reporting by Chris MichaudEditing by Sandra Maler)

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump has rolled out a ‘new scam’ amid internal turmoil over Fauci: op-ed

Published

on

Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, Greg Sargent takes a look at the Trump's administration's recent walkback of its attempts to undermine its top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after they discovered that it wasn't being received by the public so well.

According to Sargent, President Trump's "new scam" is to present the image that his administration actually respects Fauci's advice while continuing to undermine him behind the scenes.

"What’s really going on here is a kind of two-step, a double game," Sargent writes. "Trump and his advisers want him to reap the political benefits of appearing to harbor general respect for Fauci’s expertise, while simultaneously continuing to undermine Fauci’s actual claims about the threat the novel coronavirus will continue to pose — because those claims badly undermine Trump’s reelection message."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

GOP strategist who wrote party’s 2012 autopsy says she hopes the party loses this year

Published

on

Former Republican strategist Sally Bradshaw, who wrote the GOP's so-called "autopsy" after its 2012 election losses, is hoping the party comes crashing down in defeat this fall.

In an email to NPR, Bradshaw conceded that the 2012 election postmortem was "obviously a failure," given that President Donald Trump had taken over the party in 2016 by explicitly ignoring its recommendations about taking a more inclusive approach to immigration reform.

However, she also seemed to think that the GOP's bill for not becoming a more inclusive party had finally come due given its failures to govern through a deadly pandemic that so far has claimed the lives of 137,000 Americans with no end in sight.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Brutal video targeting moms hits Trump for trying to hurt their children by returning to school in pandemic

Published

on

President Donald Trump and Education Sec. Betsy DeVos announced this month that schools must reopen regardless of the dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic. Republican leaders have maintained that not being in school is so detrimental to the development of children that parents must risk their lives and the lives of their families, teachers, principals, and other school administration members.

Author Don Winslow posted a video directed at mothers recalling all of the great moments in a child's development from their first words to their first steps and their first days of school.

"Now Donald Trump wants you to abandon your most primal and powerful motherly instinct to protect your child," the video says. "Trump and Betsy DeVos have said children don't get Coronavirus. Tell that to the families of these children who all died from Coronavirus."

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image