Perhaps the most controversial painting remains Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which grossed $ 450 million when it was sold at Christie’s in New York in 2017. Since then, questions have been asked about its authenticity. – to what extent is he the master, how much by his pupils and his disciples, and how much by the restorers of today.
The latest bombshell to be avoided by Christie’s, released in November, was the opinion of experts at one of Europe’s best museums, the Prado in Madrid, that it was a combination of the last two. 2022 will no doubt see this story unfold a bit more, but how or when is anyone guessing.
Blockbuster Old Master
Staying with Old Masters and after Botticelli’s record $ 92 million for Young Man Holding a Roundel in January, the brightest light on the horizon is the Man of Sorrows sale (photographed up), a bust portrait of Christ, crowned with thorns and a halo of angels – a rare and more realistic masterpiece by Botticelli, inspired by his enthusiasm for the fanatic monk, Girolamo Savonarola.
It was last sold in 1963 to an American collector, when it was examined by Botticelli’s workshop, for Â£ 10,000. Now fully awarded, it’s estimated at $ 40 million. Watch the New York Live Auctions on the Sotheby’s website on January 27 from 10:00 a.m. EST (3:00 p.m. GMT).