Agency: Droga5 New York
Country: United States
When you think of auction houses, only two generally spring to mind. Venerable institutions, centuries old, constantly jockeying for the ability sell the world's most valuable art at auction.
And Christie's came to us having just reeled in a doozy: a Leonardo. Salvator Mundi is a portrait of Jesus Christ, one hand raised in a benediction, the other holding a mysterious crystal sphere.
It's a portrait with a Byzantine past: after changing hands over the course of the past five centuries, thought to be painted over in a huff by one owner who thought Jesus looked too feminine, restored, thought to be a copy, sold, rediscovered and eventually confirmed a true Leonardo by the world's leading art scholars. Or something like that.