The Moment - Feb 22, 2020

If Only 'Salvator Mundi' Was By Banksy...

  • June 11, 2019 19:25

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In fall 2018, Banksy remote-controlled the shredding of his work "Girl With Balloon" at Sotheby's right after it hammered down for $1.37m. Some experts believe the work is now worth more in its shredded state.

This seems safe for a $450 million painting...

Art critic Kenny Schachter teased on Instagram last week and then broke the news on Monday that the world's most expensive artwork, the "missing" Leonardo da Vinci portrait of Christ titled 'Salvator Mundi,' is likely cruising on the superyacht of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad Bin Salman. 

"Apparently, the work was whisked away in the middle of the night on MBS’s plane and relocated to his yacht, the Serene," he writes for artnet. (Reportedly, expensive art on expensive yachts is de rigueur; ie., Francis Bacon's Triptych 1974–1977 is on the lower deck of billionaire Joe Lewis's Aviva, per The Guardian.)

With a new book by Ben Lewis, The Last Leonardo, adding another voice to the chorus that 'Salvator Mundi' is by Leonardo's studio and not by the master alone, the painting could be deemed better off hidden right now. (Some museum experts are now going with "workshop of Leonardo," perhaps resulting in the no-show at this fall's Leonardo blockbuster at the Louvre.)

So...(for Kenny's source) is the image of 'Saviour of the World' hung aboard the approx. ‎€500 million yacht, seemingly watching over cool parties, discussions of dubious arms deals and cover ups of a journalist's murder?

'Salvator Mundi,' c. 1500, by Leonardo da Vinci, (and/or his workshop.) Acquired by Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism for Louvre Abu Dhabi. Currently owned by Mohammad bin Salman.
Wikipedia

The rediscovered masterpiece brought on a surreal saga even before Christie's sold it in 2017. If, during a future auction block appearance, the painting is shredded like the street artist Banksy's "Girl With Balloon," maybe that would increase its value if it turns out not to be a full-fledged Leonardo? (More and more conspiracy theories here.)

Read more at Kenny Schachter

Tags: old masters

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