Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Leonardo Da Vinci Painting Salvator Mundi Fall 2015

1. DALLAS - The Dallas Morning News - Michael Granberry Published: 18 December 2012
Visitors to the Dallas Museum of Art won’t be seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi after all. Its owners have rejected the museum’s bid to buy the painting after weeks of negotiations, officials revealed Tuesday. The painting had been at the DMA during the talks. The DMA’s final offer was not disclosed, though the cost of the artwork had previously been reported as $200 million.
The rejection follows a recent flurry of upbeat news — free admission and free memberships in 2013, and $2.3 million in new grants and gifts. The DMA announced that it was trying to acquire the Da Vinci during the summer and had launched a fundraising campaign toward the purchase.
“While the museum’s leadership was hopeful that the painting would be acquired for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, they are incredibly inspired by and grateful for the outpouring of community support for the campaign to acquire this work,” according to a statement from the museum. The DMA said it had raised “tens of millions of dollars” in pledges toward the purchase.
Director Maxwell Anderson said in the statement that it “was a privilege to be responsible for the safekeeping of this masterwork as we assembled commitments towards its purchase. The fortunate few who saw it in person will not soon forget its beauty, power and majesty.”
The painting depicts Christ with his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand holding a globe. The magazine ARTnews reports that “it is painted in oil on a wood panel and measures 26 by 18.5 inches.” ARTnews reported in 2011 that the painting is owned by a consortium of dealers, including Robert Simon, a specialist in old masters in New York, and that it was bought at a U.S. auction in 2005. The DMA’s role is yet another chapter in a long and unusual history. The painting was lost and rediscovered, then restored and shown in an exhibition in 2011. Da Vinci is believed to have painted it between 1506 and 1513.

2. DALLAS Posted in Visual Arts. D Magazine    Dec 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm The owners of  a painting by Leonardo da Vinci that has been at the Dallas Museum of Art for much of this year as the museum tried to raise funds to acquire the work have rejected the offer presented by the museum.
In a release, a museum spokesperson says the painting, Salvator Mundi, has been returned to the owners after weeks of negotiation between the undisclosed owners and the museum failed to produce an agreeable price. From the spokesperson: While the Museum’s leadership was hopeful that the
painting would be acquired for the benefit and enjoyment of the public, they are incredibly inspired by and grateful for the outpouring of community support for the campaign to acquire this work. Through the tremendous generosity and vision of its many patrons, the Museum was able to raise tens of millions of dollars for the campaign in just a few short months. The DMA is looking forward to working with its growing constituency on new opportunities in 2013. As we reported last week, part of the new DMA director Maxwell Anderson’s stated intention of bringing the Leonardo  painting to the museum was to “raise the bar” on what kinds of artwork the museum could consider acquiring.

3. LONDON Arts Beat New York Times Recently Attributed Leonardo Painting Was Sold Privately for Over $75 Million By Scott Reyburn March 3, 2014 2:20 pm March 3, 2014 2:20 pm
– A Leonardo da Vinci painting discovered by a dealer at an American estate sale was sold last year in a private transaction for more than $75 million.The painting, Leonardo’s oil-on-panel “Salvator Mundi,” showing Christ half-length with a crystal orb in his left hand, had been owned by a consortium that included the New York art traders Alexander Parish and Robert Simon.
The heavily restored painting, dating from about 1500, was bought by an unidentified collector for between $75 million and $80 million in May 2013, in a private sale brokered by Sotheby’s. The details of the purchase have remained locked in confidentiality clauses until they were revealed this
week by trade insiders, such as the London dealer Anthony Crichton-Stuart.
“It’s a trophy painting by a highly important artist,” Mr. Crichton-Stuart said. “You have to balance its compromised condition against the fact that it is by one of the most magical and significant names in the entire canon of Western art, and in that sense, it feels like a fair price.”
The 26-inch-high “Salvator Mundi,” dating from about 1500, had been acquired in the mid-2000s by Mr. Parish for an undisclosed sum at an estate sale. Since 1900, the panel, which had been much over-painted, was cataloged as a copy after Boltraffio, an artist who worked in Leonardo’s studio.
Subsequent cleaning and research by Mr. Simon and others revealed the painting to be an original Leonardo formerly owned by King Charles I of England. Despite the gaps in its provenance, most scholars now accept the work as an autographed oil by the artist.
It was included in the “Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan” exhibition at London’s National Gallery from November 2011 through February 2012. Later in 2012, the “Salvator Mundi” was displayed on loan at the Dallas Museum of Art, which attempted to buy it.
Mr. Simon said by telephone on Monday that “the picture is no longer available.” Sotheby’s does not comment on its private sales.

4.  Salvator Mundi. Leonardo's lost Painting?
The Salvator Mundi (saviour of the World) was commissioned by Louis XII of France in 1506 and Leonardo had finished the work by 1513. The image of Christ giving his blessing to the world was a popular subject in French and Flemish art and the half-length pose is typical of the era.
On the death of his wife the painting was donated, by Louis, to a religious order who had connections with his wife, in Nantes. A century later Henrietta Maria, Queen of England, saw the painting in 1650 (the year after her husband Charles Ist was executed) she asked the artist Wenceslaus Hollar to make an etching of the work to add to her collection. In the 19th century the convent that possessed the painting was dissolved and the Salvator Mundi was sold to Baron de Lareinty of Paris. After subsequent sales the work came into the possession of the present owner the Marquis de Ganay. 
Salvator Mundi. Jan Louis de Ganay collection Paris. (s)
Is this really by Leonardo?
Various tests conducted on the painting have convinced many historians that the painting is authentic. X-rays show that the paint had been applied in thin layers on a wooden base, nut wood was used for this work and also Leonardo's St John of the same period. The swirl of the hair is said to be reminiscent of other da Vinci portraits and historians point to similarities in the shadows of the face and the angle of the light to support the authenticity. The work has been altered since Leonardo's day, the orb originally supported a cross that has since been removed and a thick coat of varnish has been added to the painting.
Personal Opinion:-
It is not in doubt that Leonardo did complete a painting of this title, the documentary evidence is beyond question. It is estimated that seventy-five percent of all Leonardo's works are still lost and this very strong image could well be one of them. However today's art world contains lots of individuals who know far more about the financial implications of any new discovery than they know about the actual paintings themselves. A new painting by an artist as famous as Leonardo da Vinci would  inevitably create a buzz within the art world and it is very likely that values across a range of works would increase as a result.
This painting almost appears too modern for da Vinci. Christ's right hand and sleeve are tightly finished as are the ringlets of the hair, they seem to lack the smokiness of Leonardo's sfumato. The modelling of the face seems quite flat, when I first saw this work, and at first glance, it reminded me of an overworked Modigliani (that is not intended to be a criticism).
I admire this work very much, it just seems so fresh and alive, and would certainly like to own it regardless of who painted it. In conclusion I do hope that this is by da Vinci, who would have been about sixty-one years old at the time it was painted, but I wouldn't bet my house on it.

5. LONDON Telegraph
5:27PM GMT 07 Nov 2011
In its favour...
• ...there are 20 known versions of this composition of the Salvator Mundi, with Christ facing forward with his right hand raised in blessing but this is by far the most accomplished and sophisticated
• The quality of certain details of the painting including the complex design of Christ’s tunic, the bubbles in the crystal orb and the ringlets of his hair attest to the hand of a true master
• Two autographed drawings in the Royal collection and held at Windsor contain similar details
• Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi was documented in a 17th century etching “after Leonardo” by Wenceslaus Hollar, who likely had access to the original in Charles I’s collection. It is strikingly similar in composition
• Studies of the planning beneath the paintwork have revealed that the artist made compositional changes, notably in the positioning of the thumb, which are not reflected in any other copies. This suggests that Christ’s pose was originally composed on this board
• A panel of scholars who have studied the painting first-hand after its first conservation in 2007 have unanimously agreed that the work is an original
• Pigments correspond to those known to have been used by the artist
• ...the painting doesn’t resemble Leonardo’s other portraits. “The hypnotic head and upper torso fill the panel edge to edge like an icon, whereas Leonardo’s figures move, torque, and engage with the atmosphere around them,” writes Richard Dorment.
• It was reportedly bought at an estate sale in the United States about six or seven years ago, and fell into the hands of a consortium of dealers, including Robert Simon. In July Simon declined to comment about the painting, the price, or the location of the auction. "I've been asked not to discuss it," he said.
• No pre restoration colour photographs of the painting have been released, adding to the mystery which surrounds it.    
Leonardo exhibition at The National Gallery, London. 9 November 2011 - 5 February 2012.
There are around twenty versions of Salvator Mundi and this recently restored painting exhibits more of the Leonardo-like qualities that we have come to expect from the master, however no pre-restoration images or method of cleaning have so far been released.
Personal Opinion:-
I find this version of the Salvator Mundi much more convincing, the sfumato effect displays a subtleness that is very Leonardo, also the luminosity on the chest and forehead of Christ is pure da Vinci. The transparent crystal orb in Christ's left hand is a confident statement that is absent from other copies of the subject and the overall depth of the work has a hypnotic quality that draws the viewer deeper into the painting. Of course we don't know the scale of the restoration or how much of the work has been striped back, hopefully the process will be made available to the public in the not too distant future.
 I will be visiting the exhibition at the National Gallery early in 2012 to view the work first hand this will allow me to make comparisons with other Leonardo works on display at the same venue.
Visited Sunday 22 January 2012 (fantastic exhibition) read the review.
This painting is documented in the collection of King Charles I of England in 1649 before it was sold at auction by the Duke of Buckingham's son in 1763. It was purchased in 1900 by Sir Frederick Cook a British art dealer. Where the work had been stored between these dates is unknown however it is clear that several previous poor restoration attempts had made the painting very difficult to authenticate, it was sold at auction in 1958 for £45.    
 In 2005 the work was acquired by a consortium of US art dealers and restored. The   painting has since been studied by several experts on Da Vinci and the renaissance period, the consensus is that this work was painted by Leonardo da Vinci and is the original from which the many copies depend. In a bold move by the National Gallery they will be cataloguing the painting as a newly discovered Leonardo.
Note:- The exhibition ended on February 5 2012. However a worldwide cinema showing is  planned, details available from the National Gallery.

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