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Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci

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The drama and mystery surrounding the world’s most expensive painting is set to take the stage in New York in 2022 as a major Broadway musical. “Salvator Mundi” will chronicle the story of Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance-era portrait of Jesus, presumed lost for hundreds of years and only rediscovered this century, and sold for a record-shattering $450.3 million auction price in 2017.
 
Deborah Grace Winer, the screenwriter, believes da Vinci’s artwork has all the ingredients needed to make a compelling historical narrative for the stage. “There’s an epic quality about this story. It’s almost Shakespearean and operatic in the sweep of it’s history.” It is a story that poses the question: “What makes art, what gives anything value? It’s the idea of following one object through history. It’s about power and symbols.”
 
Yet art history is a rare subject for theater. The saga of “Salvator Mundi” may seem like a niche topic for a stage production, however, Winer believes some of the most popular musicals have succeeded because they are peculiar stories told in a compelling way, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda's rap musical "Hamilton." Winer adds, “The unlikeliest stories find incredible interest from audiences. The more specific it is, sometimes the more universal it becomes.”
Salvador Dali

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It was just another day volunteering at the thrift shop in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina when an employee stumbled upon something she suspected might be remarkable. Her hunch was correct - she had discovered an original Salvador Dali wood engraving on the floor of the thrift shop as she was sorting through paintings. She then decided to ask the thrift store for permission to get a professional opinion regarding the artwork.

Salvador Mundi on Exhibition at Christies

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The Salvador Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold at auction in 2017 at Christies New York for $450 million that smashed all previous records and absolutely stunned the art world.

 

At the time, the buyer's identity was shrouded in secrecy, but it was later revealed that, after very heated bidding,  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (alias 'MBS') was the new owner.

 

Ben Lewis, who wrote The Last Leonardo has stated that the Saudis paid such a high price because they thought that they were bidding against another rival royal family from Qatar. The defeated under-bidder, however, was Chinese billionaire, Liu Yiqian.

 

After the piece sold, scholars have continued to debate the attribution of the portrait of Christ as merely "from the workshop" of Leonardo.

 

Soon after the sale of the painting, the Louvre announced that it asked to exhibit the Salvador Mundi in its retrospective show marking the 500th anniversary of da Vinci's death. Privately, however, the museum decided to label it as "from the workshop" of Leonardo. In so doing, it would leave the Saudi owner publicly humiliated, as its value would go down to somewhere in the range of $1.5 million.

 

Mr. Lewis continued to say, "If a picture cannot show its face, that is really damning for the art world. It is almost like it has become the Saudi's latest political prisoner."

 

We still cannot unequivocally  answer our former blog question: Who In The World (actually) Painted The Salvador Mundi?  We can, however, answer our blog question: Where In The World Is The Salvador Mundi?  The painting is said to be currently in a storage facility in Switzerland.

Salvator Mundi

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                 A da Vinci made $450.3 million at auction. Now it has vanished without a trace.     When we last wrote about this piece in 2018, we talked about how excited we were to visit an old friend again at the Louvre Abu Dhabi whom we had previously visited at Christie’s Auctions New York in the Fall of 2017.

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Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci The drama and mystery surrounding the world’s most expensive painting is set to take the stage in New York in 2022 as a major Broadway musical. “Salvator Mundi” will chronicle the story of...
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