“Salvator Mundi” Leonardo’s haunting ‘lost’ Christ won’t mesmerize at the Dallas Museum


After weeks of negotiations it appears that Leonardo’s recently “rediscovered” masterpiece “Salvador Mundi” will not be sold to the Dallas Museum, where it had been on display since July of last year.

The Dallas Morning News reports that even though the Dallas Museum had been engaged in an aggressive fundraising campaign in order to bring Leonardo’s lost Christ to the Museum – and make Dallas an “art destination”- that the consortium of dealers who bought the painting in 2005 was not satisfied with he yet-undisclosed sum offered.

The painting depicting Christ as the savior of the world is painted on wood panel and measures 26 by 18.5 inches. The price tag is a reported $200 million.

You can read a thorough piece on Leonardo’s haunting “Salvator Mundi” – on it’s clouded provenance, the restoration effort that led to its re-attribution, and to the ethical and legal precedents that new owners face when trying to establish ownership of contested works of art, by Carla Raffinetti on Artlyst, which we link to here.

Previously on Art is Life:

“La Bella Principessa” Leonardo’s ‘lost’ portrait continues to dazzle and stir controversy

Renaissance masterpiece or fantastic forgery? Foundation “unveils” second Mona Lisa, amid controversy

The Canons of Beauty in the history of art – the Golden Mean

… and on whether Texas is to be a “destination” – artistic or otherwise:

Three French hens, two turtle-doves, and finger u-u-u-up the… Texas Troopers perform roadside “cavity-searches” on two women stopped for littering

7 thoughts on ““Salvator Mundi” Leonardo’s haunting ‘lost’ Christ won’t mesmerize at the Dallas Museum

  1. No offence but Dallas is not a suitable home for a work like this. I can’t imagine it’s teh kind of destination Leonardo would feel pleased about.

      • But they’re very much broadly part of the culture and world he came from. Lets face it, a total cultural backwater with no connection to his world just is all wrong. Just buying a cultural heritage & plonking a work of such magnitude in . . . Dallas . . . for me it’s a bad joke.

      • Point taken, though, back then Milan was a solar system away from Florence… And rich patrons have always determined the what, when and how of things and their plonking… funny we talk about this, just re-watched “The Mona Lisa Curse” by Hughes – will re-post it, since it’s back on youtube – very much on topic…
        Thanks for commenting, Cheers, : D

      • Though in terms of patrons – I’d say it’s fair to say that in the modern world, a Leonardo would have a wide choice of where to go with his talents. Even in the modern world, can’t see him ending up anywhere near Dallas.

      • There’s a great part in Fiona Bruce’s “Leonardo da Vinci’s Lost Treasure” in which she reads Leonardo’s “letter of application” … or introduction to Lodovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, where he extolls his virtues as mechanical engineer and inventor of arms, totally underplaying his abilities as artist. It’s a telling moment showing the difficulties even Leonardo had looking for patronage… I don’t want to show my Tuscan “campanilismo” by dissing the Court of Milan, too much… – but the Sforzas were rich warrior princes, buying up art to validate their social status, like many of today’s rich warrior princes… and Texas has seen a few of those. Check out Fiona Bruce’s doc (http://wp.me/p13vOF-1ro) it’s actually pretty good! And thanks for the conversation! : D

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