Record Da Vinci painting to be exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi

10 December, 2017, 04:30 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Louvre Abu Dhabi

"The word "masterpiece" barely begins to convey the rarity, importance and sublime beauty of Leonardo's painting", said Alan Wintermute from Christie's, the auction house that conducted the sale.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi museum said it was "looking forward to displaying" the painting, which recently fetched the record price at auction in NY.

But The New York Times reported that, according to documents it reviewed, the mystery buyer was a little-known Saudi prince.

Salvator Mundi depicts an image of Christ, and is the only work of da Vinci now in private hands (there are only fewer than 20 paintings by the Italian master known to exist in total). The newly opened museum made the announcement this week.

Dating back to approximately 1500, "Salvator Mundi" smashed auction records when it went under the hammer at Christie's NY last month.

The Salvator Mundi will go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi alongside Leonardo's La Belle Ferronnière (around 1490), which is on loan from the Louvre in Paris.

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A spokesman for the museum said, however, that no change had been made in the program. They encouraged people to visit the museum "after President Trump departs".


The French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche reported that two investment firms were behind the purchase as part of a financial arrangement involving several museums. The work of art circulated over the years among buyers and was badly damaged.

The painting, the title of which means "Savior of the World" in English, was the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. It is one of fewer than 20 authenticated da Vinci paintings in existence.

The 66-centimeter-tall painting dates to around 1500.

Before last month's record-breaking sale, the highest known sale price for any artwork had been $300 million for Willem de Kooning's painting "Interchange". Originally commissioned by Louis XII of France, the artwork seemingly disappeared in the late 18th century.

It had sold for a mere £45 pounds in 1958, when the painting was thought to have been a copy, and was lost until it resurfaced at a regional auction in 2005.

The painting was later sold by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, who bought it in 2013 for $US127.5 million in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.

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