Salvatore Mundi [Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia]
CAIRO – 19 November 2017: Recently, “Salvatore Mundi” painting depicting Jesus Christ by Leonardo Da Vinci has went viral on social media following its recent auction where it was sold for over $ 400 Million, As a result many art admirers grew curious about the buyer amid experts’ speculations that it might be an Arab.
“Salvator Mundi” (Savior of the World) was purchased by an unidentified buyer bidding through telephone after a prolonged contest of nearly 20 minutes at the New York auction house, according to Reuters.
Art amateurs and admirers have started to question the identity of the buyer in efforts to determine who she/he is, with speculations that it might be an Arab buyer from GCC countries.
London-based art dealer Charles Beddington also stated that the buyer could possibly be an Arab or Chinese, explaining that Americans and Europeans would rarely spend this amount of money for a painting.
Other experts continued to guess who is the buyer of the painting including economist, Arts market specialized and author Don Thompson mentioned to CBC News that the buyer could either be a major museum located in Qatar or Abu Dhabi or a wealthy individual.
Recently, a number of Arab princes and officials showed great interest in collecting rare valuable paintings and antiquities including the former Qatari prime minister Hamad Bin Jassim bought the legendary ‘Les Femmes d’Alger’ (Algerian Women) [Women from Algeria”]painting by the Russian painter Pablo Picasso for over $ 179.4 million in 2015 through a phone bidding.
Warren Adelson an American art dealer has mentioned in an article by Fox News that a certain institution has purchased the painting, not an individual. Adelson was also part of a consortium of art dealers who found and restored the painting in Louisiana in 2005.
, The real buyer could be an American businessman who aims to add another Da Vinci’s work in USA such as billionaire Ken Griffin, who purchased ‘de Kooning and Jackson Pollock’ for a total of $500 million and provided the paintings to the Art Institute of Chicago. Another potential buyer could be Alice Walton the Wal-Mart heiress who has spent hundreds of millions dollars to fund the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas, according to Robert Frank from CNBC.
‘Salvator Mundi’ is a portrait of Jesus Christ that dates back to year C.1500. It depicts Christ in vivid blue and crimson robe while holding a crystal orb. Da Vinci has painted ‘Salvator Mundi’ while working his prestigious “Mona Liza” portrait.
Experts believe that the painting was originally dedicated for the British royal family, and it was kept in their possession until 1763. In 1900, the work was lost and was recently redeemed after being purchased by an art collector.
There was also doubt on the identity of the painter but in 2011, it was proven that the painting is brainchild and executed work of Da Vinci.
Art expert and critic Martin Kemp has described the painting as “very soft” featuring a trait in Da Vinci.