The one who stands out even among the few polymaths that the world has had so far is Leonardo da Vinci. A remarkable painter, a great musician, avid inventor, an impeccable writer, a distinguished sculptor and architect and a lot more, da Vinci was a man with insatiable curiosity in nearly every field. He completed about 20 matchless paintings, of which only one is available for purchase in the market. All the others are held in either museums or in collections. For long, the painting was believed to be a copy but has eventually been certified as the original one.
Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’, a masterpiece from the 16th century, will go under the hammer with a starting price of Rs.6,50,00,00,000 (INR equivalent of USD 1million). Among a number of other high-end art offerings, the ethereal portrait of Jesus Christ will be put up for auction in New York’s auction house Christie’s on Wednesday.
Christie’s rival Sotheby’s will also be organizing an auction for high-end paintings this month. According to estimates by experts, the two are expected to make about Rs.65,00,00,00,000 (INR equivalent of USD 1 billion) from the sales.
Among a host of other post-war and contemporary art pieces to be sold at Christie’s and its rival Sotheby’s this month, Salvator Mundi will be one of the top attractions for art enthusiasts, for its starting price and the controversy over its actual owner.
Four years ago, Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev had bought the painting for about Rs.832,63,00,000 (USD 127.5 million) and is now suing a Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier after their disagreement over its price. However, for the moment, the current seller of the masterpiece, as identified by Christie’s is a European art collector.