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Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was born in 1452. He is a prominent Italian artist and scientist. He is most well known for his painting “The Mona Lisa” and “The Last Supper”. The Mona Lisa hangs in the Louvre in Paris as do many of his other great works. Because he is such a well-known artist, all of his works sell for a fortune. (Da Vinci.org) The painting of Salvador Mundi was painted for the French royal family claim some experts and then it is said that Queen Hemreitta Maria took the painting to England wuth her and the painting remains amongst English royalty for the next 100 years. Over the next 150 years, the painting went missing and then was found in Sir Fredrick Cook’s collection at the turn of the 20th century. No one actually knows when the painting was done exactly. In 1958, the painting was auctioned off for 43 pounds. After this auction, the painting went through a few more auctions and through that time, it ended up in the hands of a Russian billionaire. This man bought the painting from someone in 2013, and paid $50 million more than the prior owner paid at Southerby’s auction house.  When the Russian billionaire found out how much he paid for the painting he tried to sue several people. This was not new for this painting. This piece of art had sparked a lot of legal action taken against it. (Corrbett) Because this painting had made its way through many hands, the painting is not in its original shape. Some people tried to glue the cracks that were found in the painting, and one person tried to paint gray resin over the entire painting. Nonetheless, when the experts saw the painting again, they knew that it was authentic. The experts claimed they knew it was a Da Vinci due to the feel of the painting despite the changes that had been made to the painting. The painting itself depicts a soft Jesus and the brush strokes are very soft and gentle. The painting resembles another one of Da Vinci’s paintings, which was The Mona Lisa. One art critic from the Gaurdian claimed that in this depiction of Jesus, he looks high. The critic says this high look is most prominent in the eyes. The other paintings of Salvador Mundi are painted in a more straightforward way but this one does not have that quality. Regardless, this painting is only one of 20 of Da Vinci’s work, which is one of the reasons why it is so valuable. The Russian who bought the painting, is auctioning it off in November at Christie’s Auction House in New York. Thw whole world is watching to see what will happen. (Corrbett) Many of Da Vinci’s paintings have been sold to museums or been given to auctions houses like Christie’s Auction House. Recently, one specific painting has been creating a lot of buzz. The “Salvator Mundi” painting by Da Vinci was discovered at Christie’s auction house recently and is said to be sold for at least $100 million dollars. Origninally, this painting was sold for $60 at Christie’s back in 1958, which is much lower than $100 million dollars. When the painting was sold in 1958, it was unknown that the artist was Da Vinci which is maybe why the painting was sold for so little. Nonetheless, in 1958, $60 was a lot of money. In 2011,   (Parsons)This painting has been wanted by many, for years and years and according to professionals in the art world, this painting seemed unattainable. This might be the case because it is the only Da Vinci painting to be in the hands of someone’s personal art collection instead of being in a museum. This makes the paintings value much higher and people’s interest in it higher as well. Loic Gouzer, the Chairman of Post War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s in New York stated; “‘Salvator Mundi’ is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time. The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honor that comes around once in a lifetime,” (Parsons)The painting is going on a tour of Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, and New York before settling down at Christie’s and going up for auction on November 14th, of this year. (Parsons) On Christie’s website, there is an article all about the piece of work that is going up for auction. They claim its rediscovery is one of the most significant in history. The website also states that this piece of art will be “offered as a special lot in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale on 15 November at Christie’s in New York.” On the 15th, all eyes and people will be at Christie’s waiting to see where this piece of art goes. Christie’s representatives say that not only is Da Vinci still considered a great artist, but the piece of art itself is still very relevant and the employees at Christies are excited to be dealing with this piece of art. Christie’s article on the painting also points out that this painting has been in circulation through other auction houses across the United States. However, these auction houses thought that this painting was actually a fake and it has taken six years to prove its authenticity. (Christie’s) The New York Times released a video on November 15th, of the bidding war that ensued over the incredible painting Salvator Mundi. The bidders are on the phone instead and have sent people to Christie’s to represent them and bid according to what they say on the phone. The bidding on the painting lasted for nineteen minutes and the whole room watched in awe to see who would get this incredibly valuable painting. According to the article the bids went higher and higher by “by tens of millions up to $225 million, by fives up to $260 million, and then by twos. As the bidding slowed, and a buyer pondered the next multi-million-dollar increment, Jussi Pylkkanen, the auctioneer, said, “It’s an historic moment; we’ll wait.”” (Pogrebin, Scott) A bidder on the phone who is the co-chairman of Christie’s post war and contemporary art took the painting. Christie’s is an auction house that often stays in it’s own circle when it comes to advertising their auctions. However, since this painting in particular is so important and worth so much, Christie’s wanted to attract a larger and higher up audience. Christie’s did this though advertisers. They used third party advertising companies to tell the public that this painting would be going up for auction. Christie’s also decided to have an advertiser specifically advertise to Hong Kong clients. They did this through a video. The advertisement paid off since world famous art dealers went to Christie’s to view the painting. “Larry Gagosian, David Zwirner and Marc Payot of Hauser & Wirth. Major collectors had traveled here for the sale, among them Eli Broad and Michael Ovitz from Los Angeles; Martin Margulies from Miami; and Stefan Edlis from Chicago.”( Pogrebin, Scott) Christie’s was not the only one to hold showings for this painting. The painting went to places like Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, and of course New York at Christie’s. The public was also allowed to view the painting before it went up for auction in NY. (Pogrebin, Scott)My friend who is an artist in New York went to go see the painting when it was on display. She posted a photo on her instagram of the painting. I was impressed when I looked at the photo to see that there were no obstructions in her view. The people around had moved out of the way so that she could take a clear photo. When looking at the photo more closely, I could see the damage that the painting has gotten over the years. Many critics have also said one of the main ways to see that the painting is actually by Da Vinci is by the brushwork. I too could recognize Da Vinci’s brushwork in the photo my friend took and posted. You can see the light gestures across the painting and how each bristle touched the canvas. It is truly remarkable to see and examine more closely. Luke Syson from the National Gallery in London where the painting was displayed said that he too could see how the painting has been altered through time. He said that people tried to “clean” the painting (probably trying to remove the glue and paint that people had put on the original), and that you can now see abrasions on the painting itself. (Pogrebin, Scott) It is very unfortunate that people tried to clean it so much to the point of altering the painting since it was already in a precarious state. Although the painting did need to be repaired it might have made more sense for people to just clean it up a little and then sell it in the shape it was in. Leonardo Da Vinci is an incredible artist and his works will remain famous until the end of time. This painting in particular will hold great importance and people will be following it as it changes hands over the next couple hundred years. There is an ethical question in play with how this painting was handled. People are wondering if it is good that this very valuable painting is in the hands of a private owner who may not know the proper way to take care of this masterpiece instead of in the hands of a museum that have a team to take care of the painting and keep it in a controlled temperature room. This painting has been in the hands of so many private owners, which is why it is in the shape that it is in. If it was placed in a museum many years ago perhaps it would have been in better condition. I personally think this painting should have never been on a “tour” let alone be sold at Christie’s to a private buyer. Da Vinci does not have many paintings to begin with let alone ones in museums. This painting clearly holds great value and therefore, it should be in an environment where it can be admired and not harmed. The fact that the public may never see this painting again is a shame and should not be the case. If the painting was put in the MET the public could be sure that the painting was being taken care of. Hopefully the current owner of the painting gets bored of it and decides to sell it once again and hopefully it then goes into the hands of a museum. But the painting could be altered and changed or replicated while in private hands and the original could be gone forever. Only time will tell what will happen to this painting. The public is still talking about it and will be for some time. When discussing this topic with others, people who do not have an interest in art knew about this painting and the fact that it was being auctioned off at Christie’s. Hopefully the private owner of this painting will take good care of it and understands the fundamental right the public has to see this painting again in its original form. This painting is nearly as valuable as the Mona Lisa at this point and should be treated accordingly. I am definitely going to keep watching what people are saying about this painting and what happens to it as time goes on. I am curious to see if this painting will come back into the public eye in my lifetime. It also makes me wonder if there are other Da Vinci paintings that are in the hands of private owners and their existence is unknown to the world. If I had an incredible painting such as a Da Vinci, I would want the public to also enjoy it in a museum. I hope that anyone holding any masterpiece painting sees what happened with the Salvator Mundi painting and decide sell it to a museum and not ruin the work of art instead by putting into private hands.

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