Leonardo Painting Auction Prediction: $100 Million

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October 15, 2017

A painting by the creator of the Mona Lisa could fetch $100 million at auction.

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi was painted about the same time as the Mona Lisa, art historians believe, but had private owners for centuries before being rediscovered in 1900. Officials said that the price paid for the painting in a 1958 Christie's auction was $60. The painting was identified as Leonardo's work only in 2011.

It is the only known Leonardo painting still in private hands. The current owner is Russian investor Dmitry Rybolovlev, who has consented to exhibitions of the painting in Hong Kong, London, New York, and San Francisco before the auction, which will be on November 15 at Christie's in New York.

Rybolovlev said that he paid $127.5 million when he bought it from a Swiss dealer who had paid $80 million at a Sotheby's auction in 2011, soon after the painting was identified as a Leonardo.

The painting is of Jesus. The English translation of the title is "Savior of the World."

Leonardo, the famed Renaissance Man who excelled at the arts and sciences and left a collection of detailed scientific notebooks, is known to have crafted few paintings that have survived; experts think that the number might be fewer than 20.

The last known Leonardo painting to be discovered was the Benois Madonna, in 1909; it is now on display at the Hermitage, St. Petersburg's famous museum.

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