Rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci painting expected to fetch $100M

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Rediscovered Leonardo da Vinci painting expected to fetch $100M

The estimate is around $100 million.

This painting from Leonardo da Vinci is the Salvator Mundi.

"We felt that offering this painting within that context is a testament to the enduring relevance of this picture", said Loic Gouzer, chairman of Christie's post-war and contemporary art.

"Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time", said Loic Gouzer, Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie's in NY.

The Salvator Mundi has made its way around the world and was largely passed off as a copy painting from one of Leonardo da Vinci's students.

"This is truly the Holy Grail of art rediscoveries", said Alan Wintermute, Christie's senior specialist for Old Master paintings, explaining that the portrait sometimes called the male Mona Lisa had always been thought to have been lost or destroyed. A crystal orb is placed in his left hand, while his right hand is raised in benediction.

Since then, "Salvator Mundi" has been in private ownership. That's how Alan Wintermute, a Senior Specialist at Christie's, introduced the painting Salvator Mundi this morning at Christie's Hong Kong office in Alexandra House. But in 2007, conservator Dianne Dwyer Modestini removed layers of paint that had been added over the centuries and scholars confirmed that the work was actually a da Vinci original.

The same sale at Christie's will feature Andy Warhol's monumental "Sixty Last Suppers", a piece from one of the pop artist's final series before his death in 1987.

When it was acquired in 1900, parts of the painting - the face and hair of Jesus Christ - were painted over. After its re-emergence in 2005, it took six years to authenticate it.

The renowned Renaissance master painted "Salvator Mundi", which translates to "savior of the world", around 1500 A.D., in the same era that he completed "The Mona Lisa". "No one will ever be able to fully grasp the wonder of Leonardo's paintings, just as no one will ever be able to fully know the origins of the universe".

"Salvator Mundi" will be sold at Christie's in NY at its November 15 sale of post-war and contemporary art following public exhibitions in Hong Kong, London and San Francisco.

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