Salvator Mundi

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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 private hands. It was sold at auction by Christie's in New York to Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Farhan[5] 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.

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Published in 10/08/2018

Updated in 19/02/2021

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