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Mystery surrounds $450M da Vinci painting

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Java Blue
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« on: November 17, 2017, 06:38:10 pm »

Salvator Mundi and the mystery of the orb: is the world's most expensive painting a real Leonardo?

Leonardo Da Vinci's Salvator Mundi Credit: AFP

    Telegraph Reporters

16 November 2017 • 2:36pm

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi has sold at auction for a record-breaking $450 million (£342 million). It raises a number of questions: Can any painting really be worth that much? Why are we still so obsessed with da Vinci? And then there's the question that may give its buyer the sleepless nights – is it really a da Vinci at all?

This painting has had a remarkable change of fortune in just a few decades. In the Fifties, Salvator Mundi ("Saviour of the World") was sold for just £45, when it was believed to be a copy. Now it's worth 10 million times as much. This sale far exceeding the previous world record set by set by Paul Gauguin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo? (When Will You Marry?), which went for $300 million in 2015.

It's undeniable that most of that value rests on Leonardo's name. An attractive copy of Salvator Mundia, painted by Leonardo's assistant Gian Giacomo Caprotti (nicknamed "Salai"), sold at Sotheby's 10 years ago for just $656,000 – mere pocket change, compared to the amount changing hands for the real thing. But the painting's unusual provenance, and a few uncharacteristic artistic choices, have thrown doubt on its authenticity. Here are four details that have the experts concerned:
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