Leonardo paint­ing up for auc­tion with US$100 mil­lion es­ti­mate

The Myanmar Times - - The Pulse -

THE last Leonardo da Vinci paint­ing in pri­vate hands is go­ing to auc­tion in New York next month — with a pre-sale es­ti­mate of around US$100 mil­lion.

Christie’s an­nounced Tues­day that the de­pic­tion of Je­sus, ti­tled “Sal­va­tor Mundi,” will be of­fered Nov. 15.

“The Sal­va­tor Mundi is the Holy Grail of Old Mas­ter paint­ings,” de­clared Christie’s spe­cial­ist Alan Win­ter­mute. “It seemed just a tan­ta­liz­ingly un­ob­tain­able dream un­til now. To see a fully fin­ished, late mas­ter­piece by Leonardo, made at the peak of his ge­nius, ap­pear for sale in 2017 is as close as I’ve come to an art world mir­a­cle.”

The work, dat­ing from around 1500, is one of fewer than 20 known paint­ings by Leonardo. It was first recorded in the royal col­lec­tion of King Charles I in the early 1600s, then changed hands, dropped out of sight and was later ac­quired “as a work by Leonardo’s fol­lower,” Christie’s said. “Christ’s face and hair were over­painted.”

It was sold for 45 Bri­tish pounds in 1958, Christie’s said.

It dis­ap­peared again for nearly half a cen­tury; it was be­lieved that the work had been de­stroyed un­til it was re­dis­cov­ered in 2005. It took six years to au­then­ti­cate it.

Christie’s said it de­cided to high­light the Leonardo at a sale of post­war and con­tem­po­rary art be­cause “this work and artist tran­scend all col­lect­ing cat­e­gories.”

The seller is iden­ti­fied only as a “pri­vate Euro­pean col­lec­tion.”

Andy Warhol’s 1986 paint­ing “Sixty Last Sup­pers” — based on Leonardo’s Re­nais­sance “Last Sup­per” mas­ter­piece — also will be fea­tured. Its es­ti­mate is around $50 mil­lion.

Warhol’s “mon­u­men­tal can­vas poignantly il­lus­trates the themes of re­li­gion and loss that were so in­stru­men­tal to his work,” the auc­tion house said.

The work was ex­e­cuted a year be­fore the artist’s death.

“In the early 1980s, re­li­gious iconog­ra­phy would fea­ture more promi­nently in Warhol’s art as he be­gan to con­front his mor­tal­ity,” Christie’s said. “’Sixty Last Sup­pers’ marked the cul­mi­na­tion of a process of ac­cep­tance: the fi­nal im­age of com­mu­nion and for­give­ness.”

– The As­so­ci­ated Press

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