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Alleged da Vinci Painting 'Salvator Mundi' Sells for $450M(!)

Just who in the hell has half a BILLION dollars to plop down on a single painting?

And it isn't even very good (looks like some Renaissance tranny).

Plus there's a good chance that Leonardo didn't even paint it. Sakes.

The work had sold for just £45 at Sotheby's in London in 1958. Read More
replies 179Nov 15, 2017 6:27 PM +00:00

It’s fake I own the original.

replies 1Nov 15, 2017 6:29 PM +00:00

I just wish they'd stop referring to Leonardo as "da Vinci".

replies 2Nov 15, 2017 6:31 PM +00:00

Oh brother, art world da Vinci fangurl alert:

Art critic, Alastair Sooke, investigates the fascinating rediscovery of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi, one of fewer than 20 surviving paintings accepted as from ...
replies 3Nov 15, 2017 6:38 PM +00:00

Someone paid half a bil not for what da Vinci slapped on the canvas, but for what restorers did.

--What a waste!
replies 4Nov 15, 2017 6:42 PM +00:00

They are laundering money. That's the whole point of the high-end art market. It's what rich people collectively agreed to use to park and/or launder wealth—art and New York/London real estate.

replies 5Nov 15, 2017 6:47 PM +00:00

That is one creepy Jesus.

replies 6Nov 15, 2017 6:59 PM +00:00

Christie's made a video of the people viewing the painting. See Leo DiCaprio at 3:08. Patti Smith somewhere there.

A portrait of the world from the eyes of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi. As this masterpiece was placed on public display, we captured the real-life emotions that...
replies 7Nov 15, 2017 7:03 PM +00:00

He’s not even cute

replies 8Nov 15, 2017 7:05 PM +00:00

OP - The fact that it sold for $450 million shows it's not a fake. And that people are incredibly stupid.

replies 9Nov 15, 2017 7:10 PM +00:00
it's not a fake

It's not a fake—but it's not a Leonardo. The consensus from those not on Christie's payroll is that it was painted by some of his proteges.

replies 10Nov 15, 2017 7:12 PM +00:00

He looks like Mona Lisa's brother who stays in his room all day smoking weed and playing guitar.

replies 11Nov 15, 2017 7:14 PM +00:00

That really does not look like a Leonardo. The eyes, in particular, look messed up — they don’t look like they are focused on the same object.

replies 12Nov 15, 2017 7:16 PM +00:00

R2 why shouldn't they call him da Vinci?

replies 13Nov 15, 2017 7:16 PM +00:00

That money should be used to fix America's infrastructure problem or upgrade our schools or feed the hungry. Jesus would agree.

replies 14Nov 15, 2017 7:17 PM +00:00

The buyer is probably Russian or Chinese, R14.

replies 15Nov 15, 2017 7:20 PM +00:00

It's like he's staring directly into my eyes.

--Andy Cohen
replies 16Nov 15, 2017 7:21 PM +00:00

R15 Probably some autistic Chinese billionaire

replies 17Nov 15, 2017 7:22 PM +00:00

Sell this crap to the tasteless Chinese.

Everyone wins!

replies 18Nov 15, 2017 7:25 PM +00:00

sizemeat verificata?

--dl meme
replies 19Nov 15, 2017 7:25 PM +00:00

R18 Chinese have zero taste. Among the rudest people you will ever meet too.

replies 20Nov 15, 2017 7:27 PM +00:00

Looks genuine to me
replies 21Nov 15, 2017 7:29 PM +00:00
dl meme

only to you, sweetie

replies 22Nov 15, 2017 7:29 PM +00:00

The previous owner, who bought it for 127 million, is also Russian. It's stolen oil money. You'll never see this painting again. It's probably in a vault in Switzerland right now.

replies 23Nov 15, 2017 7:30 PM +00:00

R23 The owner before that bought it for $10,000 at an estate sale.

replies 24Nov 15, 2017 7:33 PM +00:00

Fran Lebowitz on the $120 million Picasso gets to the point.

Opening sequence from the HBO documentary Public Speaking directed by Martin Scorsese.
replies 25Nov 15, 2017 7:33 PM +00:00

OMG I *so* need to make thought bubbles for the vid @ rR7

replies 26Nov 15, 2017 7:37 PM +00:00

It's a fake. Or a school of.

replies 27Nov 15, 2017 7:42 PM +00:00

Oh yeah Sal, I went to school with that guy. Heza good fella.

replies 28Nov 15, 2017 7:43 PM +00:00

Actually the eyes are the perfect part of the painting. In my opinion it is real but the price just tells you how ridiculously rich, rich people are. That simply is not is a major sin.

replies 29Nov 15, 2017 7:45 PM +00:00

R24, that's one lucky bastard.

replies 30Nov 15, 2017 7:49 PM +00:00

It's filthy money that's stolen by filthy Russians (and other scumbags). Another thing Fran Leibowitz said: "You don't earn a billion dollars--you steal it."

There's a hilariously snarky comment in the NY Times from some art expert saying it was too dull to be a Leonardo. Yet other experts claim it is. So whatever.

Apparently there are many Datalounge "art experts" weighing in here--as if you queens know anything about it!

replies 31Nov 15, 2017 7:59 PM +00:00

What does his hole look like?

replies 32Nov 15, 2017 8:09 PM +00:00

Leibowitz is one broke bitch, and she’s a little touchy about it.

replies 33Nov 15, 2017 8:11 PM +00:00

When it comes to religious art, da Vinci is a hack.

Bouguereau, on the other hand, is a true master.
replies 34Nov 15, 2017 8:17 PM +00:00
Another thing Fran Leibowitz said: "You don't earn a billion dollars--you steal it."

Like you'd know, cunt!

--Gates, Winfrey, Zuckerberg, Buffet, Ortega
replies 35Nov 15, 2017 8:18 PM +00:00

Jesus looks trans in this new painting

replies 36Nov 15, 2017 8:18 PM +00:00

Carl Bloch, another master
replies 37Nov 15, 2017 8:20 PM +00:00

r5 real estate is more likely to hold its value. Using this particular painting for anything underhanded makes no sense to me.

Even if you gain advantages parking it in a free port and having your money guy do the dodgy paperwork on it for tax reasons, your paperwork depends on it having value. If it's declared an improper attribution or worse, then it's worthless even for money laundering. The underground isn't stupid about what it accepts for collateral; this is an old, known racket.

You'd best do something smart, like David Thomson did, and pick the right painting to have "sympathetic" experts authenticate.

replies 38Nov 15, 2017 8:24 PM +00:00

Julius Kronberg's David and Saul is also sublime.
replies 39Nov 15, 2017 8:26 PM +00:00
looks like some Renaissance tranny

With a webbed neck

replies 40Nov 15, 2017 8:29 PM +00:00

Bitch has NO chin and/or is a linebacker.

replies 41Nov 15, 2017 8:32 PM +00:00


Suck on that, bitch at r33.

Oh and r35, so can you, cunt!

Offsite Link
replies 42Nov 15, 2017 8:36 PM +00:00

I'm surprised she has that much money...from answering questions in college auditoriums?

replies 43Nov 15, 2017 8:38 PM +00:00

r34 and r37, more Datalounge art experts. MARYS!

replies 44Nov 15, 2017 8:40 PM +00:00

Bouguereau = dragqueen ... da Vinci = the real thing

replies 45Nov 15, 2017 8:43 PM +00:00

Amazing how much money some people have. And what they do with it.

--Trust fund kid $$$$$$$$$$$$$
replies 46Nov 15, 2017 8:59 PM +00:00

It was considered a fake until at least 2005, according to the OP article.

replies 47Nov 15, 2017 9:43 PM +00:00

Compared to other paintings of Jesus, this one gives me the chills The face and eyes have a hazy aura about it, as if Jesus is looking right into you from another realm or dimension.. DaVinci painted his subject to appear more real than they are as if they had a soul, kind of like an optical illusion painting but of people, that was his genius. I would warn people who are stoned from looking at this painting.

However, the amount of money paid for it is wasteful and ridiculous.

replies 48Nov 15, 2017 10:42 PM +00:00

Large version
replies 49Nov 16, 2017 12:12 AM +00:00

Flemish counterpart
replies 50Nov 16, 2017 12:15 AM +00:00

And this one is really eerie: side by side comparison with the Shroud of Turin
replies 51Nov 16, 2017 12:17 AM +00:00

Christies or its PR molls keep saying it's the last Leonardo in private hands, but it's not. Even blind Freddy knows the Duke of Buccleuch owns one which was restored to him after being stolen several years ago.

replies 52Nov 16, 2017 12:20 AM +00:00

The original (before restoration)?

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, 16th century
Nec Spe, Nec Metu
replies 53Nov 16, 2017 12:21 AM +00:00

And the Duke of Devonshire owns Leonardo drawings.

replies 54Nov 16, 2017 12:22 AM +00:00

Split screen
replies 55Nov 16, 2017 12:22 AM +00:00

Jesus looks stoned.

replies 56Nov 16, 2017 12:27 AM +00:00

Leonardo was an atheist most if his life, but he became a fervent believer in his later years, even receiving the holy viaticum on his deathbed. His lover (and greatest student) was the only person with him--other than several priests--at his death. 🖼

replies 57Nov 16, 2017 2:04 AM +00:00

Sounds as if the buyer went slightly mad and HAD to have it.

replies 58Nov 16, 2017 2:33 AM +00:00

please Fran, get your facts RIGHT. + Steve Wynn is NOT blind ( eyesight going but still....) I used to like

not so much.

Offsite Link
replies 59Nov 16, 2017 2:52 AM +00:00

That's really the picture BEFORE the so-called "restoration" they did, r53 / r55?

How do they even justify such a radical difference in everything from lighting to actual facial features.
replies 60Nov 16, 2017 3:24 AM +00:00

R37, that is about one step away from Thomas Kinkade or that painting of the huge Jesus staring at the twin towers are crying. Kitsch.

replies 61Nov 16, 2017 3:44 AM +00:00

Jesus looks stoned.

—Anonymous ... Well to believe you are the son of to take away the sins of the world, you've got to be high on something

replies 62Nov 16, 2017 3:52 AM +00:00

It's a bad painting, no matter who did it. Leonardo never did anything else with such a schlock factor, except his execrable John the Baptist. But the hand and arm are good.

I hope this is one with a Chinese collector who never lets anyone see it again. Pukeworthy.

replies 63Nov 16, 2017 3:54 AM +00:00

R37 R39 R34 you have truly horrible taste.

why shouldn't they call him da Vinci?

His name is Leonardo. "Vinci" is the name of his birthplace.

replies 64Nov 16, 2017 4:12 AM +00:00

A one hour documentary about this painting and Da Vinci in general.

Journalist Fiona Bruce receives an exclusive preview to an amazing artistic treasure: a newly discovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
--I am old and I support this documentary.
replies 65Nov 16, 2017 4:17 AM +00:00

Can anyone link to a decent, critical article about the"restoration". I am assuming the Netflix doc is an hour long advert created by Christies.

replies 66Nov 16, 2017 4:31 AM +00:00

I had to laugh at that poster calling Leonardo a hack and then posting the kitschy Bouguereau, Bloch and Kronberg. Blech.

Also, this painting doesn't "feel" like Da Vinci. I bet it's a fake.

replies 67Nov 16, 2017 4:34 AM +00:00

[post redacted because thinks that links to their ridiculous rag are a bad thing. Somebody might want to tell them how the internet works. Or not. We don't really care. They do suck though. Our advice is that you should not click on the link and whatever you do, don't read their truly terrible articles.]
replies 68Nov 16, 2017 4:41 AM +00:00

Does the sale price include the auction premium? If not, how much would this premium be?

replies 69Nov 16, 2017 4:51 AM +00:00

The overpainting made Salvator look like a drag queen. The provenance of the work is pretty shaky--whole decades and centuries unaccounted for.

It's not a bad work, but it's not in the same league as the truly authenticated works.

replies 70Nov 16, 2017 4:54 AM +00:00

Saltz feels it's a fake.

One look at this painting tells me it’s a sham.
replies 71Nov 16, 2017 4:59 AM +00:00

Yes, the 450M price tag includes the Buyer's Premium. The actual hammer price was 400M.

And r67 is right, Bouguereau is the epitome of tacky 19th century sentimental kitsch, so whoever believes he's a superior artist to Leonardo has no taste whatsoever. That said, this Salvator Mundi has been so thoroughly restored (particularly in the face) that it's hard to see what it initially looked like. Only the right hand and the garment have survived relatively intact. The rest is a skilled interpretation by a competent restorer. This auction record marks the triumph of marketing and branding over connoisseurship.

replies 72Nov 16, 2017 5:01 AM +00:00

Oh my sides! The soulless atheists who scamper at the sight of an inspired religious painting and instead drip praise on this tranny-in-blue da Vinci knockoff are truly the ones devoid of any taste whatsoever.

Bouguereau, Bloch, and Kronberg are all undisputed masters in their own right. Enough said.

replies 73Nov 16, 2017 5:29 AM +00:00

Moment Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi sells for record-breaking $400m .

I can't even afford a Bob Ross original. :-(

The last privately owned Leonardo da Vinci painting – and one of fewer than 20 by the Renaissance artist known to still exist – has been sold at auction in N...
replies 74Nov 16, 2017 7:51 AM +00:00

R74 obviously voted for Trump. She sounds like a monumental sap.

replies 75Nov 16, 2017 9:11 AM +00:00

There was a great NY Times article a few years ago on how some of the world's greatest art has been hidden away in vaults in Switzerland

I imagine this will end up there as well

replies 76Nov 16, 2017 9:14 AM +00:00

R73 They are exactly as R72 described them: "tacky sentimental kitsch"

replies 77Nov 16, 2017 9:15 AM +00:00

r7 That video was Wonderful! the painting must be captivating in person. Too bad it went to a private collector so the world can't share in it.

replies 78Nov 16, 2017 9:19 AM +00:00

Article re r76

The superrich have stashed millions of works in tax-free storage. So what does that mean for the art?
replies 79Nov 16, 2017 9:21 AM +00:00

R78, the painting no longer exists. At best, what you are looking at is a historical interpretation of what it might have looked like. The vast majority of the original is either gone or so far gone as to be merely a shadow of what it was.

replies 80Nov 16, 2017 9:23 AM +00:00

r76 that's horrible. losing our culture to greed.

r78 what do you mean?

replies 81Nov 16, 2017 9:26 AM +00:00

Maybe Bill Gates bought it to go with his da Vinci notebooks.

replies 82Nov 16, 2017 9:58 AM +00:00

I watched a mystery recently set in the 20s at an English country house.

The well-to-do wife made the husband keep all his tacky Pre Raphaelite paintings in his enormous study, because she couldn’t bear to look at them.

replies 83Nov 16, 2017 10:07 AM +00:00
looks like some Renaissance tranny

Oh you're going to hell for sure.

replies 84Nov 16, 2017 10:52 AM +00:00

If his final drawings for the painting were found at Windsor Castle, then I would bet that might be a clue to the buyer.

replies 85Nov 16, 2017 11:02 AM +00:00

maybe it's the restoration, maybe it's because it's not by Leonardo, but that painting is crap.

replies 86Nov 16, 2017 11:08 AM +00:00

I've worked in this business for a bit. Basically the ones paying this sort of many are always drug dealers and private investors trying to laundry crime money.

replies 87Nov 16, 2017 12:46 PM +00:00

Why is everyone sooooo awestruck in the video? Why is Patti Smith wearing shades in a darkened room?

replies 88Nov 16, 2017 12:58 PM +00:00

R3 is on the money. The high-end art market is simply about money laundering now. Same as high-end real estate. You say oligarch - I say kleptocrat.

Makes me wonder if there something in our genes that the human condition so often rewards the sly, the criminal, the narcissist, the psychopath? So much greed. And it’s never enough. What is it that drives that? Blah!

replies 89Nov 16, 2017 1:07 PM +00:00
The high-end art market is simply about money laundering now. Same as high-end real estate.

In this particular instance, it's not just "art". It's Da Vinci. You could buy Picasso's all day and not have the same status as owning a genuine(?) work of the most famous painter of the Renaissance. Unless the painting is proven to be a fake the next time it sells will be for over a billion.

Looking at the art market broadly I don't dispute the money-laundering theory. But this example can just as easily be for bragging rights and/or investment speculation.

replies 90Nov 16, 2017 1:43 PM +00:00

Look at the hand seen through the globe. There is no refraction of light in the glass orb. Leonardo the science genius of his time would not have missed that.

replies 91Nov 16, 2017 2:26 PM +00:00

R91, that detail caught my eye, too; it's one of the many things that make the painting ring false.

It didn't impress the NYTimes, which labeled it "proficient" at best.

Our critic won’t weigh in on the painting’s authenticity, but he will tell you what he saw: a blank-eyed Christ, meek and monotonous.
replies 92Nov 16, 2017 6:36 PM +00:00

Landering front

replies 93Nov 16, 2017 6:37 PM +00:00

Do you mean like Ann Landers?

replies 94Nov 16, 2017 7:23 PM +00:00

I think the video of the people staring at the painting in R7 is more fascinating than the painting.

--Humans want to believe in something
replies 95Nov 17, 2017 12:06 AM +00:00

"Transvestitor Mundi"

replies 96Nov 17, 2017 12:37 AM +00:00

Okay, so I did some digging, and...

#1) Salvator Mundi was previously owned by Russian billionaire, Dmitry Rybolovlev (see paragraph one at link)

Scandal in Paris; new South Africa fund; record global sales
Financial Times
replies 97Nov 17, 2017 2:18 AM +00:00

#2) Guess who has ties to this Russian billionaire?

In 2008 Dmitry Rybolovlev bought Palm Beach’s most expensive house from Donald Trump. He landed it for a cool US$95 million. Back then, in the late nighties this was considered to be an absolute fortune. The future US president initially bought the spot for US$41.4 million in the bankruptcy proceedings of the disgraced nursing home tycoon Abe Grosman. But instead of moving into the sprawling palace – or even kitting it out to be a posh beach pad for vacations, Russian fertilizer magnate decided to demolish it – and promptly started proceedings to get the go-ahead to do so.
Big news on Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev buying Donald Trump’s house and destroying it, instead of moving in.
Richest Russian
replies 98Nov 17, 2017 2:19 AM +00:00

Cher D'El Centro

replies 99Nov 17, 2017 3:46 AM +00:00

"Salvator Mundi" could pass for Mona Lisa's brother or Mona Lisa in drag.

--Just Saying
replies 100Nov 17, 2017 3:50 AM +00:00

Money laundering.

replies 101Nov 17, 2017 3:51 AM +00:00

What happened to his cigarette?

--Joan Crawford
replies 102Nov 17, 2017 3:52 AM +00:00

I found the model.
replies 103Nov 17, 2017 3:56 AM +00:00

[R37] [R39] [R34] = Donald Trump

replies 104Nov 17, 2017 12:54 PM +00:00

I'd assume it's some Russian "oligarch" (i.e. mafioso) but they're mostly Jewish and I don't see them buying a Jesus pic.

replies 105Nov 17, 2017 1:20 PM +00:00

Yay! My da Vinci just went up!

--E. P.
replies 106Nov 17, 2017 2:03 PM +00:00

I wonder how much would this person, who spent 450 million on a painting, be willing to pay to save an ordinary human life.

My bet is... very little.

replies 107Nov 17, 2017 2:16 PM +00:00

R107, Russian oligarchs spend on ending human lives.

replies 108Nov 17, 2017 2:49 PM +00:00

Ha, yes, R108!

replies 109Nov 17, 2017 2:50 PM +00:00

R7, That video really was wonderful. Thanks!

replies 110Nov 17, 2017 3:30 PM +00:00

There are billions of ordinary human lives worth nothing.

How many verified Da Vinci paintings are there?

replies 111Nov 17, 2017 3:41 PM +00:00

R111, Wikipedia says about 24.

replies 112Nov 17, 2017 3:44 PM +00:00

R112, yes, and there are questions over even some of those. The number of unquestioned Leonardos seems closer to 15.

replies 113Nov 17, 2017 4:40 PM +00:00
There are billions of ordinary human lives worth nothing.

No human life is worth nothing.

And what use will any of us have of this Leonardo if it will be locked in someone's vault for the next decade or so. This painting is nothing but a commodity for its owner.

replies 114Nov 17, 2017 6:08 PM +00:00

But the question is, what kind of commodity? Even if the painting is an original Leonardo da Vinci, only about 6" square of the original exists. The rest is basically a fabrication. Christies did a great job of hyping the painting this time around. Next time, buyers might be more critical.

replies 115Nov 18, 2017 1:31 AM +00:00
only about 6" square of the original exists.

And that 6" square is the ONLY Leonardo in private hands. That is the point.

It will only increase in value.

replies 116Nov 18, 2017 1:40 AM +00:00
His lover (and greatest student)

R57, wasn't his closest 'companion' a 14-year-old boy apprentice?

--Grooming, Renaissance-style
replies 117Nov 18, 2017 1:57 AM +00:00

that Jesus has major gay face

replies 118Nov 18, 2017 2:12 AM +00:00


That's what I said, but they still hung me upside down and pissed on me.

replies 119Nov 18, 2017 2:16 AM +00:00


I disagree

--Chairman Mao Tse Dung
replies 120Nov 18, 2017 3:37 AM +00:00

Well he didn't stay 14.

replies 121Nov 18, 2017 3:44 AM +00:00
I've worked in this business for a bit. Basically the ones paying this sort of many are always drug dealers and private investors trying to laundry crime money.

Selling your paint by number at a flea market is hardly the same thing. Money laundering is alway a possibility but it's very unlikely because there is SO much doubt over the authenticity. There are much, easier ways of parking half a billion dollars. Hell real estate in Miami, NY or CA can do that and it has actual legitimate resale value. No crim is going to take a risk on this.

replies 122Nov 18, 2017 3:58 AM +00:00

Neither did Woody Allen's adopted daughter / now wife, R121.

Mama always said: The only way to date and fuck a truly nice, obedient guy - is to raise him from his early teens.

--Mama was Mary Kay Letourneau
replies 123Nov 18, 2017 4:01 AM +00:00

r52, the Leonardo painting you refer to is in the Scottish National Gallery in Edinburgh.

replies 124Nov 18, 2017 1:15 PM +00:00

R124, (and I'm not R52) that painting is on loan; it is still privately owned.
replies 125Nov 18, 2017 1:32 PM +00:00

What is she about to do to that baby???

replies 126Nov 19, 2017 5:19 AM +00:00

You lost, r126, hunty?

replies 127Nov 19, 2017 5:24 AM +00:00

r125, thanks for the link. I guess the difference is that that painting isn't entirely by Leonardo. I would also assume the present owner would eventually give it to the Gallery permanently, though with the art market as it is, hard to say--even if it's only partly by Leonardo. It's still a lot more interesting a work than that $450 million Christ painting.

replies 128Nov 19, 2017 5:35 AM +00:00

The spindle is a symbol of Mary's domesticity and a presaging of Christ's death on the cross?

Why do I think that desperate art historian's make this shit up?

replies 129Nov 19, 2017 5:42 AM +00:00

The Duke of Buccleuch lives VERY grandly.

replies 130Nov 19, 2017 5:53 AM +00:00

And will the Duke of Buccleuch present noble in his manor on Christmas?

--Royal Hole Watcher
replies 131Nov 19, 2017 6:38 AM +00:00

*noble hole

replies 132Nov 19, 2017 6:39 AM +00:00

His 33 year old son, Walter Scott the Earl of Dalkeith, is a dead ringer for the 3rd Duke. Though married, he smells cookies and might indeed present his ginger hole.
replies 133Nov 19, 2017 6:44 AM +00:00

R129, I know. I've always found this painting to be quite sinister, but then that is characteristic of Leonardo's paintings. At any rate, this Madonna is in much better condition than 'Salvator Mundi,' has a much more dynamic composition, and probably has more Leonardo in it than 'Salvator Mundi.'

replies 134Nov 19, 2017 6:49 AM +00:00

Noble ginger hole presented by Walter Scott the Earl of Dalkeith.

Sounds very pretty.

Gives new meaning to "exhibiting my Leonardo."

replies 135Nov 19, 2017 6:50 AM +00:00

For the artist who invented chiaroscuro, this painting is pretty clunky. Kind of flat, spatially. The right arm and hand looks like a bolt-on, like it doesn't even fit within the frame let alone the composition. I'm skeptical. My gut says no.

replies 136Nov 19, 2017 6:52 AM +00:00

Warhol Jesus
replies 137Nov 19, 2017 6:53 AM +00:00

r136 is the autistic party guest just interrupting a conversation.

replies 138Nov 19, 2017 6:54 AM +00:00

Sorry to spoil the light-hearted banter R138, but it's boring the fuck out of me.

replies 139Nov 19, 2017 7:04 AM +00:00

Actually, your post was good, R139. It's R138 and his "presenting hole" series of posts that are tedious and add absolutely nothing to the conversation.

replies 140Nov 19, 2017 7:13 AM +00:00

Alastair Sooke mentions in R3 that experts were impressed by a pentimento in the raised hand's thumb, as if a reasonably clever forger wouldn't have thought to build that in. Tsk, tsk. Too thin, cutie.

--Eric Hebborn
replies 141Nov 19, 2017 7:18 AM +00:00

Oh dear. Sorry, r140, if a couple people having a little fun is so terribly boring. Please do, continue, r141.

replies 142Nov 19, 2017 7:19 AM +00:00

'Would love to see this painting under UV and infrared lighting. 'Looks like the dog's dinner as it is -- there seems to be have been lot of skinning and inpainting -- if not overpainting -- from past restoration. Looks like signs of water damage to me. Panel is bowed pretty badly, and there was significant paint loss in vertically running "channels".

replies 143Nov 19, 2017 7:26 AM +00:00

If this were truly a Leonardo, who didn't do that many paintings actually, it is truly priceless.

A Renaissance art expert, however, on NPR did mention that it just as too many of the stylistic techniques attributable to Leonardo jumbled together in one painting--which makes it suspect.

replies 144Nov 19, 2017 7:31 AM +00:00

R144 That is called a pastiche, and is indeed an attribute of many forgeries.

replies 145Nov 19, 2017 7:35 AM +00:00

Forgeries get passed off all the time as real and fool many professionals.

replies 146Nov 19, 2017 7:37 AM +00:00

I read a book a year ago about this forger living in a barn in England who forged hundreds of famous paintings--credibly--using house paint instead of art paint, and people believed it. He finally got caught after many years and did time.

replies 147Nov 19, 2017 7:38 AM +00:00

Christ's left shoulder is really awkward looking. Way too high and misshapen. It's as if in a previous cleaning, a pentimento was uncovered there. In other words, the artist intended the shoulder to be lower and and more natural and made corrections which were reversed by a restorer.

replies 148Nov 19, 2017 7:39 AM +00:00

I visited Leonardo's atelier often and I don't recall ever seeing this painting there.

--Olivia de Havilland
replies 149Nov 19, 2017 7:41 AM +00:00

R146 Non-invasive, portable tools, like an XRF gun, which have become affordable in recent years, have embarrassed many a museum official. Let's just say that more than a few paintings are quietly being put into storage.

replies 150Nov 19, 2017 7:45 AM +00:00

I would say, don't bet your life on ANY of it. While money is a renewable commodity, your life is not, and you WILL get burned sooner or later in the - ahem - art market.

replies 151Nov 19, 2017 7:54 AM +00:00

R150, LOL. That's the thing about connosieurship--not foolproof, evidently. I remember reading Rene Gimpel's books, and even he thought some very famous paintings hanging in museums were fakes.

replies 152Nov 19, 2017 1:40 PM +00:00

So people (investors - business conglomerates - these days) buy NAMES, otherwise magnificent paintings by forgers would be be honored, right? Because art is supposed to be about how it makes you feel, right? For me and you - and the great majority who are not 1 percenters - it really comes down to the axiom, Buy What You Like, and really you can never go wrong that way.

--great art has the power to make men happy - even fakes.
replies 153Nov 19, 2017 1:48 PM +00:00

R153, well, they're no magnificent paintings because the forger did not come up with the painting or the style himself.

replies 154Nov 19, 2017 1:50 PM +00:00

R154 I must disagree. All artists rip each other off, in the first place, and many cashiered Old Masters are beloved.

replies 155Nov 19, 2017 1:53 PM +00:00

I had a life-changing experience when I saw The Last Supper in July. I know the whole mural is now basically a reconstruction and there are barely any of Leonardo's brush-strokes left on that wall but it's still a magnificent sight to see.

His paintings, on the other hand, never did much for me. The only one I really like is "La belle ferronnière" but they're not even sure if it really is Leonardo's (as is the case with most of his other paintings).

replies 156Nov 19, 2017 2:00 PM +00:00

Great example R156. I think I heard that about 2% of The Last Supper is original.

replies 157Nov 19, 2017 2:02 PM +00:00

It's 20% according to that documentary because Leo took too long to paint and the plaster would dry before he decided what to do next.

And in only a matter of decades the painting started to deteriorate.

replies 158Nov 19, 2017 3:34 PM +00:00

the restoration of The Last Supper is a horror.

replies 159Nov 19, 2017 3:37 PM +00:00

You should take a look at the Sistine Chapel which was turned into the Sunday comics.

replies 160Nov 19, 2017 4:24 PM +00:00
the restoration of The Last Supper is a horror.

I disagree. It's 100% better
replies 161Nov 19, 2017 4:33 PM +00:00

If this turns out to be a fake (or 'school of' painting) - can the buyer claim compensation from the experts at Christie's, who vouched for its authenticity? Can the buyer claim the full amount paid for the painting ($450m) or is there an insurance limit?

replies 162Nov 20, 2017 2:38 AM +00:00

R162 That would cause an earthquake in the art world, and ruin Christie's reputation for a long time.

replies 163Nov 20, 2017 4:01 AM +00:00

I dunno R160 -- there's no accounting for taste. It may be that those garish colors are accurate.

Archaeologist Vinzenz Brinkmann insists his eye-popping reproductions of ancient Greek sculptures are right on target
replies 164Nov 20, 2017 4:06 AM +00:00

R162, there is actually a guarantee offered by Christie's on the authenticity of the Leonardo, but it expires after 4 years.

replies 165Nov 20, 2017 4:09 AM +00:00

This painting will always be suspect and it was a bad purchase. However, the only stakeholder I wish bad things for is the auction house.

replies 166Nov 20, 2017 4:53 PM +00:00

They're speculating that Jeff Bezos bought it, that last year he sold some stock for over 1 billion dollars. The article claims Bezos is the world's richest man. Well. Amazon dominates the sales world, that's for sure.

The $450 million sale of Leonardo da Vinci's "Salvator Mundi" has touched off an epic guessing game: Who paid so much for a painting?
replies 167Nov 25, 2017 11:31 AM +00:00

OP's Jesus looks like he's been smoking weed.

replies 168Nov 25, 2017 12:10 PM +00:00

r59, take a nap, grumpy.

replies 169Nov 27, 2017 6:20 PM +00:00

r146 very few of them actually do fool museum curators. That's a myth the art world propagates to prevent the financial house of cards from collapsing.

Many paintings are taken in as donations, aka tax avoidance schemes from rich donors. In order for that to work, they have to be valued. Part of the value is of course the authentication. Museum officials can easily find 'experts' willing to state attribution, but with certain caveats that let them off the hook if the works' origin is challenged. That doesn't mean their own curators are necessarily fooled.

If collector X is bequeathing your institution his billion dollar collection with known masterpieces, you're not going to sweat a few of them with dodgy origins.

replies 170Nov 27, 2017 6:46 PM +00:00

Revealed! The purchaser is a "mysterious" minor-league Saudi prince who is a good friend of the new power-mad Saudi crown prince.

The prince bought the “Salvator Mundi,” a portrait of Christ, according to documents reviewed by The New York Times.
replies 171Dec 6, 2017 1:58 PM +00:00

Jesus looks very Italian street boy there.

replies 172Dec 6, 2017 2:14 PM +00:00

In fact, I think I've seen that Jesus up from Bensonhurst hustling and selling weed at Uncle Julius bar back in the day.

replies 173Dec 6, 2017 2:17 PM +00:00

If I'm going to pay $450 million for a painting, I want to see both hands.

replies 174Dec 6, 2017 2:55 PM +00:00

So a Saudi prince bought it. Strange: first, wrong religion and second, Islam forbids art that shows the human form.

I know, I know it is merely a way to launder money.

replies 175Dec 6, 2017 3:21 PM +00:00

Analysis of the sale:

We break down the New York Times's revelation that the buyer of the record-shattering $450.3 million painting was Saudi Arabia's Prince Bader.
artnet News
replies 176Dec 7, 2017 11:08 AM +00:00

Supposedly going to the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

replies 177Dec 7, 2017 2:26 PM +00:00

This is all about money laundering.

replies 178Dec 7, 2017 2:42 PM +00:00

You can get a good reproduction of this painting on framed canvas for $160 from I'm getting one next year to hang in my living room.

replies 179Dec 7, 2017 3:36 PM +00:00