Long Lost Da Vinci Painting Verified, Worth $200M

Painting resurfaced in estate sale

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Jul 12, 2011  |  Updated 7:26 AM EDT
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Long Lost Da Vinci Painting Verified, Worth $200M

"Salvator Mundi," or Savior of the World, is a long-lost painting now attributed to Leonardo da Vinci.

A masterpiece by Leonardo Da Vinci that was lost for centuries has been verified and could be worth as much as $200 million will go on display in London this fall.

"Salvator Mundi," an oil-on-wood work depicting Jesus Christ raising his right hand in blessing had been in a private collection and turned up six years ago in an estate sale, according to ARTnews.com. It is now in the hands of a consortium of dealers which has already turned down an offer of $100 million, according to the art magazine.

"I was told they're asking $200 million for it," an art expert told the magazine.

The painting, which was once owned by King Charles of England, was verified by art experts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It had been poorly restored and painted over in the centuries that it was missing, and required careful restoration.

The painting's ownership is undocumented from the 17th to 19th centuries. In the 1940s, it was exhibited in England, though it was attributed merely to "Milanese School, (c. 1500). In 1958, it was sold for 45 pounds by Sotheby's, attributed mistakenly to Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio, who was considered Da Vinci's best student.

Now that it is known the work is by one of the greatest artists of all time, it will be exhibited at London's National Gallery as part of a Leonardo show that opens in November, ARTnews reported.

"It's up there with any artistic discovery of the last 100 years," said one scholar.

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