Hundreds of years since his time, Leonardo da Vinci and his works seem to remain as famous and sought-after as they were in the past. A good case in point is a painting believed to be among the Italian master’s works, which sold for a whopping $450 million in 2017.
However, there are still doubts about the painting’s authenticity. Is it truly the ‘last da Vinci’? Was it even painted by him? Let’s find out.
Some art experts still believe that the said painting, ‘Salvator Mundi’, wasn’t created by Da Vinci. Among them is Jacques Franck, who recently shared his doubts about the painting’s true origins in an essay for ArtWatch UK.
An expert on Da Vinci’s works, Franck analyzed ‘Salvator Mundi’ by holding it up against the other confirmed works of the Renaissance man.
His verdict? The painting does not meet the master’s standards.
Franck particularly pointed out how unusual the hand gesture Jesus Christ is making on the painting. He says that this goes against Da Vinci’s known expertise and attention to detail when it comes to the human body.
The art expert also other rather unusual elements like the ‘oddly long and thin nose’ and the ‘mechanical hair ringlets’.
Another Expert Weighs In
Michael Daley, the director of ArtWatch UK, seems to agree with Franck’s sentiments.
He also emphasized Da Vinci’s knowledge of anatomy and how this clashes with the way the hands that were depicted in the painting. Daley then went on to say that when a person notices one thing wrong about the painting, they discover everything that is wrong with it.
Although non-experts may just chalk the issues pointed out by Franck and Daley to a master painter on a bad day, scholars are adamant that da Vinci didn’t have off-days.
In the end, the two experts believe that ‘Salvator Mundi’ was the product of another artist, who might have worked under da Vinci sometime around 1500.
Another mysterious thing about the painting is its current owner and location. ‘Salvator Mundi’ was believed to have been purchased by Prince Badr bin Abdullah during an auction at Christie’s in 2017.
However, some are speculating that he made the bid on behalf of Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.
As for its current location, ‘Salvator Mundi’ is said to be in the storage on the crown prince’s luxury yacht. Another report says that it was being kept in Switzerland.