• STV
  • MySTV

Leonardo da Vinci artwork sells for record fee of £341m

Salvator Mundi, Italian for Savior of the World, fetched 450 million US dollars.

Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi painting is on display at a press preview at Christie's in New York City.
Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi painting is on display at a press preview at Christie's in New York City. PA

A painting of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci has smashed the world record for an artwork sold at auction or privately.

Salvator Mundi, Italian for Savior of the World, fetched 450 million US dollars (£341 million) when it went under the hammer at Christie's auction house in New York on Wednesday.

Fewer than 20 paintings by the Renaissance master are known to exist, and Salvator Mundi is the sole Leonardo in private hands. The auction house did not identify the buyer.

The previous highest price for a work of art at auction was 179.4 million US dollars (£136 million), for Pablo Picasso's painting Women of Algiers (Version O) in May 2015, also at Christie's in New York.

The highest known sale price for any artwork had been 300 million US dollars (£227 million), for Willem de Kooning's painting Interchange, sold privately in September 2015 by the David Geffen Foundation to hedge fund manager Kenneth C Griffin.

The work was once owned by King Charles I of England.
The work was once owned by King Charles I of England. PA

The opening bid was 100 million dollars (£75 million). After 10 minutes, the bid was 300 million US dollars. It concluded after 19 minutes with the world record fee.

The 26-inch-tall painting dates from around 1500 and shows Christ dressed in Renaissance-style robes, his right hand raised in blessing as his left hand holds a crystal sphere.

The work was once owned by King Charles I of England, but it disappeared from view until 1900, when it was acquired by a British collector, incorrectly attributed at the time to one of Leonardo's disciple, rather than to the master himself.

The painting was sold again in 1958 and again in 2005, when it was bought by a consortium of art dealers who paid less than 10,000 US dollars (£7,600) for the badly damaged and partly painted-over piece.

The dealers restored the painting and documented its authenticity as a work by Leonardo. It was then sold to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev in 2013 for 127.5 million US dollars (£96,800) in a private sale that became the subject of a continuing lawsuit.

Christie's said most scholars agree the work is authentic, though critics have argued to restoration makes the authorship difficult to attest.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.