Art is invaluable. However, when people hear the price of the word-renowned masterpiece “Salvator Mundi,” even the most ardent skeptics are left scratching their heads. For several years, one of Leonardo da Vinci’s most iconic paintings has been remaining the most expensive piece of artwork ever sold at art auctions. But what makes it so costly? And what is the story behind this one-of-a-kind work? Keep reading to learn more.
Salvator Mundi, the Most Expensive Piece of Artwork Ever Sold
“Salvator Mundi” is one of the most recognized works of Renaissance art. The Italian master Leonardo da Vinci created this exceptional piece between 1499 and 1510. The painting features Jesus Christ in a blue Renaissance dress, holding a transparent crystal orb in his left hand and blessing with his right hand.
It should be said that there is a great deal of controversy around the work. For example, many scientists believe that it was not Leonardo da Vinci who originally created the piece that would become the most expensive piece of artwork ever. Moreover, it has also been argued that the painting sold in 2017 at Christie’s auction was actually not original. “Salvator Mundi” was likely commissioned by King Louis XII of France in 1605, but no one knows where the painting was between 1763 and 1900. Besides, over the years, it was heavily overpainted. Restoration works started only in 2005 when “Salvator Mundi” was acquired by a consortium of art dealers that included the specialist in Old Masters Robert Simon.
“Salvator Mundi” became the most expensive piece of artwork of all time on 15 November 2017, when it was purchased by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud at Christie’s New York. The price tag was $450,312,500, which is – as many would agree – an insane amount for a piece of art. As of today, there is no single artwork in the world costing as near as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi.”