The Discovery & Restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s Long-Lost Painting “Salvator Mundi” | Robb Report

The Discovery & Restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s Long-Lost Painting “Salvator Mundi” | Robb Report


(soft choir music) – And so, ladies and gentlemen, we move to the Leonardo Da
Vinci, the Salvator Mundi, the masterpiece by Leonardo
of Christ the savior, previously in the collections
of three kings of England. (soaring instrumental music) – [Auctioneer] Who will give me 120? 130 million, 140 million is bid. At 140 million. – I always thought it would be the most expensive work of art ever sold. It’s incredible and unbelievably rare. Nothing conjures with
the name of Leonardo. We had tens of thousands of
people on three continents line up for hours in some cases, and people were tremendously
excited to see it. – I had a relationship
with the Salvator Mundi, and he had one with me. This was an incredibly powerful image, and it was like nothing
that I’ve ever worked on and I believe like nothing
that’s ever been painted. I’ve known Robert Simon
for a very long time, and Robert had purchased the painting. Some time, I think it
was in April of 2005, he called and asked if he
could bring a picture over that he had just purchased. And I asked Bob if he wanted
me to go ahead and clean it. It had very recent kind
of sticky varnish on it and some sloppy retouching
that also looked quite recent. – It was heavily overpainted, and it was still thought to be a copy, and it was sold for a
couple thousand dollars at an estate sale in Louisiana. It was found by a man named Alex Parish who then sold a share
of it to Robert Simon who is a very distinguished authority on Italian Renaissance paintings. Thought he must be crazy
when he said he thought he might have found a Leonardo Da Vinci, and they started having it cleaned, and at that point the quality of it really began to come through,
and they got quite excited and they brought in Dianne Modestini, who’s a very distinguished
restorer in New York. – I was not thinking,
“This is by Leonardo.” I was just concentrating
on what had to be done to make the picture legible, not to lose any of the original. It just didn’t enter my mind. It probably would have interfered with my ability and my
freedom to work on it and to develop kind of a
working relationship with it. We noticed that the panel
itself had a very large crack that ran the whole length of
the panel from top to bottom. It was a curve that went
right around the side of the Salvator Mundi’s head. And that was a kind of
horrifying thing to discover. The other parts of the painting
were preserved perfectly. – I had already been hearing rumors from Leonardo scholars who had seen it who were sort of hinting that they’d seen this kind of amazing thing. A consensus developed over time that this was, really
was this lost original that had been thought to have
disappeared for centuries. By the time he paints it around 1500, Leonardo is almost 50. He is the most famous artist in the world. There is an assumption
that it must have been for a very important patron. He used very, very precious materials, and he finishes it, which
he doesn’t do that often. He starts a lot and
abandons it along the way, but he finishes this. First absolutely known history of it is about a hundred years later when it’s in the collection
of Charles I of England. He dies hugely in debt,
and the Crown decides to give away much of his art collection in repayment of his debts. It’s given to a mason, it
would be the equivalent of an architect or a
builder, named John Stone in repayment for this debt. And nine years later when
the monarchy is restored and Charles II becomes king,
Parliament passes an act that says basically, “All
you people who’ve had debts “from the king and got stuff
from us, give it back.” And so it enters the
collection of Charles II. It then descends to his younger brother and successor, James II. His mistress is a woman
named Catherine Sedley, and they have a child together, and she inherits it from him. And then she marries the
First Duke of Buckingham who builds Buckingham
House, which eventually by their heirs is sold and
is now Buckingham Palace. And when the house is sold to the crown, the contents of it are sold
off at an auction in 1763. And at that point it just
completely disappears. We have no idea what happened. It’s sold as by Leonardo
but for a very small amount of money, and so it’s probable that even by that point the painting had been quite heavily overpainted. – I worked on it off
and on for five years. The cleaning was really
not particularly revelatory because the head had been
completely repainted. There was a beard. It looks quite grotesque. Wherever there were damages they just made this kind of red beard. But all of that was done, I don’t know, in the not-so-distant past,
and it came off very easily. – [Auctioneer] 286 million,
will you give me 290? I thought so. (crowd gasps) 300 million. – From 1763 we have no
idea from that point on what happens to it. Until the end of the 19th Century when it reappears and it’s sold to a very eminent British
collector, Francis Cook. But it’s sold as a copy
or a follower of Leonardo, and you can see it’s heavily overpainted. It was sort of just made
to look more masculine. I think it was probably
seen as more fitting by the 19th Century. And it remains in the Cook collection where nobody pays much
attention to it until 1958 when it’s sold at Sotheby’s
in London for 45 pounds. It’s bought by an American we think, and it ends up in collections in America until 2005 when it’s sold for, again, a very, very small amount of money as a copy in Louisiana. – It wasn’t until I was
at the very, very end of the restoration and
there was one retouch around the mouth which
was extremely difficult. I had a book about
technical investigations of the Mona Lisa, detailed reproductions, and one was just of the Mona Lisa’s mouth, so I actually cut the page out of the book and tacked it to my easel. That was the moment when
I had to say to myself, “Of course it’s by Leonardo because “nobody else paints this way.” This picture is a paradigm of everything that he knew technically about painting and much of what he thought about time, eternity, and the cosmos. It wasn’t just a portrait of Jesus Christ painted for the king. This was something that
became very important to him. – For those of you following online, you may not have heard it. The bid was 350, was
called on the telephone at 350 million the
Leonardo Salvator Mundi. – [Dianne] The fact that it went for so much money will protect it. – 370 million dollars,
ladies and gentlemen. 400 million. (crowd gasps) – I only care about it being protected and it being one of the
most important expressions in paint that Leonardo
left us about his thinking. So the price doesn’t matter. – In my dreams it’s sort of almost exactly what I thought it would sell for. I always thought it would
make the biggest price ever. So it was a trophy of the greatest rarity. – Leonardo Salvator Mundi
selling here at Christie’s. 400 million dollars is the
bid, and the piece is sold. (crowd cheers and applauds)

100 thoughts on “The Discovery & Restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s Long-Lost Painting “Salvator Mundi” | Robb Report

  1. From Italy: smells "fishy" to me. The World needs more Da Vinci's paintings so the experts found a new one. Be ready for the discover of the one and only sculpture made by Leonardo…

  2. If Leonardo painted it, it is worth $500 million. If I painted it, is worth $50 or so. Art is a racket.

  3. She probably did take a photo of it before she began work but she wrecked it so badly she is embarrassed and says she didn't.

  4. How profound it would have felt to touch your brush onto the same canvas that Leonardo touched, gazed and pondered about hundreds of years ago, insane!

  5. Now the painting is nowhere to be found and the Arab who bought it isn't explaining why. Obviously well within his right has having bought it fair and square BUT how stup!d do you feel America's art community? You know how embarrassing it is to watch Americans call and write this Arab to see a painting of JESUS CHRIST none the less, after having restored it and having it in your possession? Now the guy ignores you like a clingy one night stand.
    I am truly ashamed of my countrymen.

  6. A painting of Jesus Christ by the western worlds most revered painter, Leonardo da Vinci for a christian king, celebrating christianity, is bought by an islamic infidal. Remarkable.

  7. My son born of spirit sent by the Lord Jesus Christ to my family. Almost every night in his dream he goes into Heaven to meet Leonardo Da Vinci, his teacher. I am from Singapore. Amen

  8. No way is this a Da Vinci art work. Morons today think that science is a consensus. Look at all the flakes talking about it, woman is the dodgiest. Shes acts guilty as hell

  9. This is a studio piece, he may have taught others using this piece … Di Vinci never did a straight on portraits. It was a technical teaching piece.

  10. ?? Diannes claim that she had a "relationship with the Savator Mundi, and he had a relationship with me" is without a doubt, one of the most ridiculous and pretentious comments I have ever heard, even from someone trapped in the artworld. (Seriously, this pathetic woman needs to get a life!)

  11. omg to sell it for 2 grand! I think I would have brought it to a reputable authority before selling it for 2 grand. The host looks sickly.

  12. This ain’t jesus it’s Caesar borgio & reason it sold for 450 mil is coz prince of Saudis Arabia has beef 🥩 with Qatar 🇶🇦 & Arab told me that’s why otherwise Qatar 🇶🇦 wud have bought it but coz of beef 🥩 prince went crazy & wud have paid a billion instead of 450 mil that’s why these Arabs are fools fighting each other & wasting stupid amount of money on a fake Jesus painting while there’s Muslims dying for a glass of water

  13. I hope the terrorists give it back to an italian museum or something omg so sad to see these People owning such a masterpiece.

  14. He painted a picture of JESUS CHRIST and used a cruel rich man's gay lover to be the model,. I have been an artist since I was a child, I got a picture of the gay lover as Christ when I learned my 10 commandments in CHURCH, I HAD HELD ONTO AN ABOMINATION to replicate Jesus, and since I found out who he allowed to model as the rich man commissioned it,,,( I have thrown it away or took it down and intend to, I hope I have thrown it away ) ,and it was his lover,,,,,, yeah, earth is a deception,I have renounced several of the so called old Master's since then,,,,,,

  15. Had heard of this painting before, but never really seen it. I do have to say it's one of the most ethnically accurate depictions of Jesus I've seen, but it's still not quite true to his heritage. Jesus was Palestinian, after all. I truly believe that he bore no resemblance to the Norwegian guy in a white bathrobe that we see in most every other painting in which he is the subject.

  16. The most funny news to me .. Saudi Bedouin Muslim understands art , and pays huge amount of money for a painting of Christ … does Islam allow painting or drawing Mohammed

  17. Some of you need to watch vids about it being painted by a student of his. LD never painted faces straight on the face. They were always cocked to one side.

  18. now this painting is owned by a man who keeps it on his yacht as he violates human rights laws, tortures his own citizens, and murders journalists. nice. at least they made 400 million instead of simply putting it in a museum for all to enjoy.

  19. This painting is widely regarded as a fake.
    The "$400M" bid was a fraud too. Done to generate interest in it..Even the story about the debt payment is nonsense.

  20. So they found this picture in the United States of Louisiana.. and slowly they started touring the picture into something DaVinci would do..hmmmmm

  21. There was this guy that used to make fancy wine bottles and fill the bottle with cheap wine and then sell them for thousands of dollars

  22. This whole thing smells like fraud.. somewhere there's an American laughing his ass off making a hundred million dollars.. and you get a whole bunch of experts and you pay them off

  23. its 100 percent a fake they just drew up a story about it and its that EASY, they make 450 million just like that, and from here on to the whole world its the real deal….hahahaha!!!!

  24. When you buy the name and not the art it really gets ugly vain and greedy. The art is ~alright~ nothing groundbreaking and I bet no one would bat an eye if it was an unknown artist. How pathetic.

  25. I think this should never have been sold but kept in a special place, I don't know…despite I'm atheist Jesus Christ portrait should not been sold to a Saudi Prince…thousands of persons would love to see this paint and even pray in front of it like you do with a statue in Europe or North America. I don't think people is interested in this paint in Saudi Arabia…money and always money…shit

  26. Man people talk about this like it was painted by Jesus himself. Honestly it looks just like any ordinary old painting, sure he had great skill but there's people who make paintings that are so photorealistic you can't distinguish it from a real life, and you don't see their paintings selling for 400 million dollars. no one cared much about this painting until the name Leo was attached to it, too much hype for da Vinci

  27. It's owned by someone who is not only not a Christian but whose religion is against art that depicts humans, gods and animals. Doesn't this make everybody nervous? I heard MBS is keeping it on his yacht……

  28. It's obscene. This video is gushing about the artistry AND the financial excess. Art is used to hide the money of the mega rich and criminal enterprise. You can turn down the angelic strings. I'm not playing along

  29. i bet to leonardo, none of those paintings were as important as these posh rich people claim…
    auction prices make things "important".

  30. why would you discover one of the greatest painter’s lost artwork and sell it? you aRE A MUSEUM. you are supposed to keep that a long with his other paintings😑

  31. They say it was from da davinci studio n he only did some of it they say he never drew anyone. Face on. Always at a slight turn

  32. Imagine having something this valuable in your house and it’s worth that much. Ppl need to learn from the past and start getting artwork checked

  33. Wow what a GREAT STORY and they found it in Louisiana is unbelievable too. Can you imagine working and restoring a painting from the Master himself. Looking at every brush stroke, just as it was applied, everyday single day, would be like watching DaVinci up close actually painting it. Great Video, THANK YOU what a treat..

  34. What if this is just one of the most elaborate hoax of all time . After all people make shit up all the time and the world is so easily fooled ?

  35. It appears as though Bernardino Luini is currently the most expensive painter in history. Kudos to the Crown Prince and Christie's.

  36. Yeah, the price doesn't matter. Leonardo would have wanted that kind of money to go toward his painting instead of going toward helping the world. That Saudi prince got that money from oil and gas production…the very thing that's going to end this planet.

  37. HI
    ' It had a beard and it was really quite GROTESQUE'???? The ONLY REAL image of ' The Saviour of the World, Yeshua', is scorched into the top linen fibrils of the Shroud in Turin!! And THAT very DEFINITELY has a beard, [ As described in Isaiah 'He gave His cheeks to the smiters AND TO THEM THAT PLUCK OFF THE BEARD' ]. So THIS painting by Leonardo, must be the ANTICHRIST![ Valued in money! ] Shalom to us only in Christ Yeshua.

  38. That moved me. The conservador of the painting has a higher regard for the beauty and mystical quality of the painting than its monetary cost. Beautiful woman.

  39. I saw the painting in 1982 when it was on display at the University of Washington Henry art gallery. Their art professor Joanne Snow Smith was involved in helped authenticate it. The painting looked considerably different at that time and I'm not sure that it is the same one that is shown in this video as the restoration made so many changes. I had a large print of it for years on display in a large walnut frame in my bathroom.

  40. Kings and queens had these famous arts paint Jesus and the history of the Bible in there liking ,which is in the favor of white people because white peoples where in power .and these people in high places !wanted people of color to believe white people where superior to people of color

  41. What I want to know is why it didn't go straight to a museum. It's a Da Vinci, it belongs with the other the paintings he created.

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