A painting of Jesus Christ by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci has sold for a record $450 million (380 million euros) at auction in New York, breaking previous records.
The 500-year-old oil painting, “Salvator Mundi” or Latin for Savior of the World, depicts Christ holding a crystal orb and is one of fewer than 20 paintings by da Vinci known to exist.”It … sparks all sorts of great conversations around the art and adds a greater richness I think to the sale season,” Conor Jordan, deputy chairman of impressionist and modern art for New York Christie’s, the auction house that conducted the sale, told Al Jazeera.
The 66cm-tall painting dates from around 1500 and shows Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal sphere.
It disappeared from view until 1900, when it resurfaced and was acquired by a British collector. At that time, it was attributed to a da Vinci disciple, rather than to the master himself.
The painting was sold again in 1958 and then was acquired in 2005, badly damaged and partly painted over, by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than $10,000 (8,445 euros).
In New York, art lovers lined up outside Christie’s headquarters on Tuesday to view Salvator Mundi.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera News