NEW YORK — Some art experts are stunned at the jaw-dropping $450 million (380 million euros) New York auction price for a Leonardo da Vinci painting with a patchy history and heavy restoration.
Just a dozen years ago, the worn, touched-up, old painting of Christ went for less than $10,000 (8,450 euros) at an estate sale. On Wednesday, it was auctioned for a record-breaking price as a long-lost Leonardo painting dubbed “the Last da Vinci” or the “male Mona Lisa.”
Years of painstaking cleaning and study led scholars to authenticate it as Leonardo’s roughly 500-year-old “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World.”
The price surprised even experts. But Old Master paintings expert Nicholas Hall says it’s understandable the painting commanded intense interest from bidders and the public.