Tags: leonardo da vinci | salvator mundi | bernardino luini

Leonardo da Vinci $450M Painting 'Salvator Mundi' Done by Assistant?

Leonardo da Vinci $450M Painting 'Salvator Mundi' Done by Assistant?

The painting "Salvator Mundi" before its auction on Nov. 15 at Christies in New York City. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 06 August 2018 08:48 AM

Leonardo da Vinci's painting "Salvator Mundi," now worth $450 million, may have actually been done mostly by his assistant, argues a leading Oxford art historian, the latest in a growing chorus of doubters and something which could greatly diminish the value of the piece.

Matthew Landrus, a da Vinci scholar, said he believes Bernardino Luini did up to 95 percent of the "Salvator Mundi," The Guardian reported on Monday. Luini’s work usually just sells in the million-dollar range.

The painting portrays Jesus gesturing in blessing with his right hand while holding a crystal orb in his left hand. It was sold to great fanfare last November by Christie's New York as "one of fewer than 20 known paintings by Leonardo."

After being purchased by Saudi royal Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan al-Saud, the painting was acquired by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. It will be unveiled in September at the Louvre Abu Dhabi before its inclusion in an exhibition focused on da Vinci at The Louvre in Paris in 2019, a story on the newspaper’s website noted.

"This is a Luini painting," Landrus told The Guardian. "By looking at the various versions of Leonardo's students' works, one can see that Luini paints just like that work you see in the 'Salvator Mundi'."

While some of the world's best experts confirmed that da Vinci was the artist in 2011, other leading experts sounded alarms similar to Landrus, the newspaper said. German art historian Frank Zöllner said the painting could be a "high-quality product of Leonardo's workshop" or maybe a later follower.

Italian Renaissance specialist Charles Hope said accepted Leonardo paintings look "quite different" than the "Salvator Mundi," the newspaper said.

Luini, who lived from 1485 to 1532, was best known for his "mythological and religious frescoes," according to Britannica.com. The website said his paintings were not only influenced by da Vinci but other masters of the time such as Bramantino and Bernardino Zenale.

Da Vinci, who lived from 1452 to 1519, was a painter, architect, and inventor, History.com noted. The website said his natural genius crossed so many disciplines that he epitomized the term "Renaissance man" in his lifetime.

His paintings the "Mona Lisa" and "The Last Supper" remain two of the world's best known and acknowledged works of art today, History.com noted.

Landrus told The Guardian that Luini was one of da Vinci's most talented studio assistants, but he believes their works are distinguishable from each other.

"I can prove that Luini painted most of that painting," Landrus told the newspaper. "A comparison of Luini's paintings with the 'Salvator Mundi' will be sufficient evidence.”

"(Luini is) the only reasonable candidate for much of the authorship. By traditional standards, we can call it 'a Leonardo studio' painting," he added.

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Leonardo da Vinci's painting Salvator Mundi, now worth $450 million, may have actually been done mostly by his assistant, argues a leading Oxford art historian, the latest in a growing chorus of doubters and something which could greatly diminish the value of the piece.
leonardo da vinci, salvator mundi, bernardino luini
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2018-48-06
Monday, 06 August 2018 08:48 AM
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