Painting Identified as Work of Da Vinci
Experts examining a painting once sold at auction for less than $100 have declared that it is, in fact, a masterpiece painted by Renaissance polymath Leonardo Da Vinci.
An oil on wood painting, named Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World) was originally thought to have been painted by one of Da Vinci’s students. The painting depicts Christ raising his right hand in blessing and holding a globe in his left hand.
According to London’s Daily Mail, “although its existence has been known for 50 years, it was attributed to a pupil of the great master Da Vinci and only recently authenticated by an international panel of art experts.”
Those experts didn’t need long to determine that the painting carried the hallmarks of one composed by the master himself.
“We were given a day to examine it and it was all the time we needed,” Da Vinci expert Peitro Marani, who was on the team that examined the painting, told the Daily Mail. “...we could tell at once that it was a work by Da Vinci and the documentation and analysis proved it beyond a doubt.”
The painting is now thought to be worth in excess of $190 million. The newly authenticated Da Vinci will go on display as part of a large Da Vinci exhibit at the National Gallery in London in November.
The newly authenticated Da Vinci is not the first masterpiece brought out of obscurity this year. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio built upon and extended Renaissance traditions in art with dramatic use of chiaroscuro, the use of light and shadow, to add texture, drama, and context to a painting. The technique is still used today and is especially prevalent in some aspects of modern portrait photography.
In June, the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that a previously unknown work by Caravaggio had been discovered by a dealer in a private art collection. An image of the newly discovered painting, depicting St. Augustine, is to appear in a book being published by Yale University Press.
“It has never been published,” art history professor Sebastian Schütze, a coauthor of the book, told the Guardian. “What looked like an anonymous 17th-century painting revealed its artistic qualities after restoration.”