Want to own a Leonardo da Vinci painting? The auction of Salvator Mundi next month could be your last opportunity for a long time.
The depiction of Christ is the only Da Vinci painting remaining in private hands – although drawings and sketches are held privately.
One of less than 20 Da Vinci paintings in existence
The circa 1500 work will appear, incongruously, at Christie's post-war and contemporary art evening sale on November 15, 2017 in New York. It has a $100 million estimate.
That is conservative. As one of only around 15 Da Vinci paintings in existence, we're anticipating it to beat the $179.4m art auction record, held by Picasso's Les Femmes d'Alger – such is the mystique surrounding the Italian polymath.
The 26 by 18 inch oil was only unearthed in 2005 when it sold for just $10,000 (according to Artnet) to a business consortium at a provincial auction house.
At that point most thought it a copy by Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio – a pupil of Da Vinci's.
Yet after six years of investigations it was declared the original in 2011. It is the first discovery of a new Da Vinci since 1909.
Loic Gouzer, the chairman of Christie's New York's post-war and contemporary art department, comments: “Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time.
"The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honor that comes around once in a lifetime. 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.
"We felt that offering this painting within the context of our Post-War and Contemporary Evening Sale is a testament to the enduring relevance of this picture.”
The France 24 news agency recently valued Da Vinci's Mona Lisa at $2.4bn.
Also featuring at the auction is Andy Warhol's 1986 work Sixty Last Suppers, one of his last pieces.
Sixty Last Suppers is one of Warhol's last works
The 32-foot wide artwork is expected to achieve around $50m.
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