Da Vinci mural of Christ approaching to fetch $100 million during auction

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The final secretly owned Leonardo da Vinci portrayal and one of fewer than 20 by a Renaissance artist famous to still exist is attack a auction block, Christie’s announced on Tuesday.

“Salvator Mundi,” an fragile mural of Jesus Christ that dates to about 1500, is approaching to sell for about $100 million during Christie’s in November, creation it among a many highly-valued works ever to be sole during auction.

“This is truly a Holy Grail of art rediscoveries,” pronounced Alan Wintermute, Christie’s comparison dilettante for Old Master paintings, explaining that a mural infrequently called a masculine Mona Lisa had prolonged been suspicion to have been mislaid or destroyed.

The mural depicts Christ in clear blue and flush robes holding a clear orb.

First available in a private collection of King Charles I, a work was auctioned in 1763 before declining until 1900, by that time Christ’s face and hair had been embellished over, that Wintermute pronounced was “quite common” practice.

Sold during Sotheby’s to an American gourmet in 1958 for 45 pounds, it again sole in 2005 as an overpainted duplicate of a masterwork, he said.

The new owners started a replacement process, and after some 6 years of investigate it was real as da Vinci’s more-than 500-year-old masterpiece, that culminated in a high-profile muster during London’s National Gallery in 2011.

The auction residence did not brand a seller, a European private gourmet who acquired a work after a rediscovery in 2005 and extensive restoration. The portrayal stands as a initial find of a da Vinci portrayal given 1909.

“Salvator Mundi” will be sole during Christie’s in New York during a Nov. 15 sale of post-war and contemporary art following open exhibitions in Hong Kong, London and San Francisco.

“We felt that charity this portrayal within that context is a covenant to a fast aptitude of this picture,” pronounced Loic Gouzer, authority of Christie’s post-war and contemporary art.

Speaking to a $100 million estimate, Wintermute reflected “There has never been anything like it sold, and so a marketplace will decide.”

The same sale during Christie’s will underline Andy Warhol’s staggering “Sixty Last Suppers,” a square from one of a cocktail artist’s final array before his genocide in 1987.

The 32-foot, multiple-image work is estimated to fetch $50 million.

Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Tom Brown and Andrew Hay

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