|Christie’s sold Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered portrait of Jesus Christ as “Salvator Mundi,” or the savior of the world, for a record $450,312,500 after 19 minutes of fierce bidding between two determined buyers, making it the most expensive work of art ever sold.
The renowned artist's painting of Jesus Christ dates from about 1500, was rediscovered in 2005, and is considered one of the greatest artistic finds of the 21st century.|
This is the only da Vinci in private hands and there are fewer than twenty world-wide, with the last one discovered in 1909. There is only one da Vinci on display in America, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.
"Salvator Mundi" was owned by King Charles I of England in the mid-1600s and was auctioned by the son of the Duke of Buckingham in 1763. The painting disappeared from 1763 until 1900, when it was bought by Sir Charles Robinson as a work by Bernardino Luini, a follower of Leonardo da Vinci. It next appeared at a Sotheby's in England in 1958 where it sold for 45 pounds — about $125 at the time.