‘Monalisa’ might be the most talked about creations of Leonardo da Vinci but it surely isn’t the most expensive one. A painting of Jesus Christ by the iconic Italian master was sold at four times its estimate in New York recently for a whopping $450.3 million (Rs 2,900 crore)! Yes, the Renaissance painting that is over 500 years old is known as the ‘Salvator Mundi’ (Saviour of the World), and shows Christ holding a crystal orb. Interestingly, this was not the first time it was sold at a high price.
Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers (Version O)’ previously held the record for the most expensive painting sold at an auction until this mind blogging bid, that was sold for $179.4 million in May 2015.
— Christie’s (@ChristiesInc) November 16, 2017
However, there are many art critics who felt this oil painting was not by Vinci himself but his disciples. There are also many mysteries surrounding the painting’s disappearance. “Commissioned by Louis XII of France in 1506, it later ended up in possession of Charles I of England and following his execution it went to Charles II and it remained in London for 400 years,” The Daily Mail reported.
Moving beyond legal battles and scrutiny of art critics, the New York-based auction agency, the Christie’s called the artwork “the Last da Vinci,” the only known painting by the Renaissance master still in a private collection as some 15 others are in museums.
Watch the moment when it was sold for the record amount
— ABC News (@ABC) November 16, 2017
After 20 minutes of rigorous fight, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, the painting was sold to a bidder whose identity has not been revealed yet. The painting was sold by a Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought the painting in 2013 for whopping $127.5 million in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.