In 2011, following six years of investigations, the work was confirmed as a genuine Leonardo work of art and unveiled publicly. "This is the most important old master painting to have been sold at auction in my lifetime". The renowned artist's painting of Jesus Christ as "Savior of the World" dates from about 1500, was rediscovered in 2005, and is considered one of the greatest artistic finds of the 21st century.
A Leonardo da Vinci painting originally found languishing in an American estate sale has sold in NY for nearly half a million dollars-the greatest sum of money ever paid for a work of art at auction. For now, it is not clear as to what would be the impact of the sale on court proceedings.
Modigliani's 1917-18 Reclining Nude was sold for $170.4 million in the same Christie's auction in which Picasso's piece made record sale.
While the masterpiece was being auctioned at Christie's, the room full of about 1,000 spectators was rippling with applause and whoops.
It eventually ended up in the collection of Sir Francis Cook and in 1958 it was sold by Sotheby's for just £45 and attributed to a student of Da Vinci called Giovanni Boltraffio.
Attentato Barcellona, Madrid ammette: "La mente dell'attacco alla rambla era nostro informatore"
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It resurfaced in 1900, by which time it was thought to be a minor work by a Leonardo imitator. The picture was painted over in a clumsy restoration attempt that tricked experts into believing it was a copy by da Vinci's follower Bernardino Luini.
The Christ figure's resemblance to other Leonardo figures - notably his John the Baptist, as well as his most famous creation of all, the Mona Lisa - is unmistakeable.
"Salvator Mundi" or "Savior of the World", which depicts Jesus Christ, more than doubled the previous record of $179.4 million paid for Pablo Picasso's "The Women of Algiers (Version O)" in NY in 2015.
"Salvator Mundi evokes joy, ecstasy, anger, awe - it just touches every emotion. The excitement from the public for this work of art has been overwhelming and hugely heartening". Associated Press reports the 26-inch-tall painting was completed in the 1500s and is one of fewer than 20 known da Vinci paintings in existence.