Last week, it was announced that all previous auction records had been smashed as Leonardo da Vinci’s infamous Salvator Mundi sold at a commercial auction at Christie’s for an eye-watering $400million. The piece is thought to have been painted in 1500, but was sold in the post-war and contemporary sale rather than the old masters sale as would have been expected. At this time, it is not known who was behind the purchase.
Since the purchase, critics and historians have been actively debating the possibility that the painting may not have been created by a different artist and may not actually be an authentic da Vinci. A popular theory has arisen around the idea that the piece could have been created by one of da Vinci’s students, most likely an artist called Giovanni Boltraffio. It is true that historians have been unable to provide conclusive proof to demonstrate that da Vinci was in fact the painter behind the work.
Artdependence has a suspicion about who may have procured the piece, and what its future may entail. I believe that the piece has been purchased by the Louvre Abu Dhabi. We have reached out to the Louvre’s press department to ask them about the possibility that they are the new owners of Salvator Mundi, but were told that the gallery was unable to comment.
It is important to be clear that there is no official proof that the Louvre are behind the purchase. I am merely speculating, based on the following reasons:
The mystery will live on for a little while yet, but I will be watching with anticipation when the buyer’s identity is finally revealed. The Louvre Abu Dhabi would make a fantastic home for the infamous painting. I wish the new owners well, whoever they may be.
Image above: A computer-generated image of the Louvre Abu Dhabi
ArtDependence Magazine is an international magazine covering all spheres of contemporary art, as well as modern and classical art.
ArtDependence features the latest art news, highlighting interviews with today’s most influential artists, galleries, curators, collectors, fair directors and individuals at the axis of the arts.
The magazine also covers series of articles and reviews on critical art events, new publications and other foremost happenings in the art world.
If you would like to submit events or editorial content to ArtDependence Magazine, please feel free to reach the magazine via the contact page.