A lost painting by Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci could fetch up to $100 million when it’s auctioned next month at Christie’s.
Most famous for the “Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper,” there’s fewer than 20 surviving da Vinci paintings in the world, according to Christie’s officials.
So when the work, called “Salvator Mundi,” or “Savior of the World,” was re-discovered in 2005 (it had been painted over), then dramatically unveiled in 2011, art aficionados called it “the greatest artistic rediscovery of the 21st century,” according to Christie’s. Da Vinci experts had believed that the painting was destroyed.
The artwork of Jesus Christ dates to around 1500 and shows a half-figure of Christ in blue robes with brown trim, holding a crystal orb in his left hand with a right hand raised in benediction.
“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,” Loic Gouzer, the chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s in New York said.
The painting once belonged to England’s King Charles I in the 1600s, before vanishing sometime after 1763. It resurfaced in 1900 as a work by one of da Vinci’s followers, according to Christie’s, before disappearing again until 2005. Restoration on the painting began in 2007 and it was finally unveiled in 2011.
It goes up for auction on Nov. 15 at Christie’s in New York.