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$450. million for a painting

Updated: Dec 28, 2019


Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (ca. 1500). Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd.

The art story that just won’t die is the saga of Salvator Mundi, the Leonardo da Vinci painting bought for $450.3 million at Christie’s in 2017—and promptly never seen again. The buyer had been identified in the press as Prince Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan Al Saud, a close associate of Saudi crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is said to have donated the work to the Louvre Abu Dhabi as some kind extremely expensive of diplomatic gift. But the painting never went on view in the Emirate as scheduled.  

Many Mundi heads had high hopes that the painting would resurface this year, as it was due to be included in the Louvre’s blockbuster Leonardo exhibition, which opened this fall. The museum kept its cards close to the vest, declining to confirm whether or not the painting would be included until the day the show opened, when it was nowhere to be found. To this day, no one is quite sure where the work is—though Artnet News’s intrepid columnist Kenny Schachter reported in June that the work was whisked away on MBS’s plane and is now on his yacht, the Serene, which was seen traveling off its usual course and closer to Europe around the time of the opening of the Louvre show. Will we finally set eyes on the painting again in 2020? Don’t hold your breath. 

Ikea offers Salvator Mundi buyer chance to bag a bargain

THE ART NEWSPAPER 23rd November 2017 13:30 GMT

 Since Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi sold for an eye-watering $450m at Christie’s last week, not a day goes by without a new revelation or reaction about the painting popping up in the news feeds.

But by far the best response to the sale of the world’s most expensive work of art has to be from Ikea. They released an advert this week showing the work in one of its gold Virserum frames, which costs $9.99, with the strapline “When you spend $450 million on a painting but don’t like the frame”.

In the Swedish company’s press release they call the Salvator Mundi “a may-or-may-not-be Leonardo da Vinci painting” and equate the sale price to “slightly more than 15 million Billy Bookcases”, referring to one of its most popular products. “

At Ikea, we believe anyone should have the possibility to decorate their home without spending their life savings,” says Morten Kjaer, the creative director at Ikea Creative Hub. “That’s why Ikea offers a range of frames that work with any photo, print or painting you want to show off, even those from the 1490s.”

Below Leonardo da Vinci Salvator Mundi Restored Painting, that had paint chipped and falling off a task restoring a masterpiece in itself, I don’t think this current frame  will not be the last.

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi (circa 1500)
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