Is this painting of Jesus worth $100 million?

Brunilde Fioravanti
Novembre 15, 2017

And therein lies the truly sad subtext of the film: Post-auction, the da Vinci will nearly certainly end back up in private hands, which means it's likely destined for a lonely life of hanging on the wall of some plutocrat's mansion, far from the common people (and Leo and Patti) who got to see it ever so briefly. "That's what we should focus on".

The sudden withdrawal of Berkshire Museum's Norman Rockwells and other American artworks from Sotheby's sale on Monday kicked off the week, and midweek Leonardo's 'Salvator Mundi' hits the auction block, with record-shaking expectations. He resold it within days to the Russian tycoon, for $127.5 million, netting a $47.5 million profit. Bouvier denies any wrongdoing.

For years, the painting was presumed to have been destroyed.

The painting re-entered the art market in 2005, when some art experts acquired it for relative peanuts at a local auction in the United States.

All other known paintings by Da Vinci are held in museum or institutional collections. "It doesn't really get better than that". His "The Women of Algiers (Version O)" fetched $179.4 million at Christie's in NY in 2015.

Other highlights being offered by the auction house are Contraste De Formes - a 1913 Fernand Leger work valued at US$65 million - and Laboureur Dans Un Champ by Vincent van Gogh, painted from the window of a French asylum in 1889 and valued at US$50 million.

Sotheby's said it has more than 60 works making their auction debuts this week. Bacon painted the work in 1966 during his passionate relationship with Dyer.

Sotheby's other star lot is a 1972 Warhol "Mao", exhibited in Berlin, Turin and Paris, and now back in public view for the first time since 1974. The estimated $100 million Old Master is headlining a contemporary art sale.

Each of the other 10 "Mao" paintings of the same size are in prestigious public and private collections, including the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

And for the first time, the house has added a rare automobile to an art auction, offering Michael Schumacher's Grand Prix-Winning Ferrari for upwards of $4 million on Thursday.

"Despite being created approximately 500 years ago, the work of Leonardo is just as influential to the art that is being created today as it was in the 15th and 16th centuries", said Loic Gouzer, Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art, New York. "But it's... the very best racing auto ever sold at an auction".

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