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Mystery surrounds $450M da Vinci painting

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Author Topic: Mystery surrounds $450M da Vinci painting  (Read 62 times)
Java Blue
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« on: November 17, 2017, 06:39:22 pm »

1. The orb
Salvator Mundi
Credit: Reuters

Salvator Mundi is thought to have been painted around 1500, when Leonardo would have been 48. As his biographer Walter Isaacson notes at that time he was was deeply involved in his research of optics and physics. The laws of physics in one part of Salvator Mundi, however, are a little off.

The diffraction of light through the glass or crystal ball Christ is pictured holding should warp the robes behind it, and a reflection of his hand should appear the glass – but it does not. This could be seen as a mistake – or a sign that the work is not Leonardo's – but Isaacson has defended it, suggesting the artist was "subtly trying to impart a miraculous quality to Christ and his orb".
2. The position of the body
La belle ferronnière




Detail of Leonardo's paintings La belle ferronnière (left, c1490-97) and St John the Baptist (c1508)

No other painting by Leonardo features a subject in the utterly straight, central posture of Salvator Mundi's Christ. The movement that is a hallmark of his other paintings, the subtle twist of a neck or shoulder, is absent here.

Michael Daley, the director of ArtWatch UK, has described Salvator Mundi's composition as "dead-pan flat, like an icon, with no real depth in the modelling", arguing that "there isn’t enough [evidence] to claim it’s a Leonardo".
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