Christie’s to Unveil the Last Da Vinci Painting in Private Hands This Friday in Hong Kong

The world’s auction record for the most expensive painting is likely to be changed after 15 November 2017 following the rediscovery of Salvator Mundi, the last Leonardo da Vinci Painting in private hands. It will go to auction at Christie’s New York on that day, carrying an estimate of US$100m. The painting will appear in Hong Kong this Friday on 13 October. The Value will keep you all updated of the unveiling of this masterpiece.

Salvator Mundi is a painting of Christ as Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World), facing frontally and dressed in flowing robes of lapis lazuli. He holds a crystal orb in his left hand as he raises his right hand in benediction, symbolizing protection and good fortune.

Salvator Mundi is one of fewer than 20 surviving paintings by Leonardo, and the only one in private hands. While the rest of Leonardo paintings are housed in museums, galleries or churches.

Salvator Mundi was once owned by King Charles I (1600-1649) and recorded in his Royal collection. It was next recorded in a 1763 sale by Charles Herbert Sheffield, the illegitimate son of the Duke of Buckingham. It next appeared in 1900 when it was purchased by a British collector, Francis Cook, 1st Viscount of Monserrate. Cook's descendants sold it at auction in 1958 for £45.

The painting then remained a mystery for the next five decades until it re-emerged in the market again in 2005, causing a worldwide sensation. In 2011, the painting was exhibited in an exhibition at the National Gallery, London. In 2013, the painting was sold to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev (image above) for US$127.5 million.

Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk. It is believed to be a self-portrait of Leonardo da Vinci but this idea is not yet universally accepted.

There are intriguing speculations about this rare masterpiece, including the symbolic meaning of the figure of Christ, the unknown provenance of the painting and the identities of past collectors.

It is unusual to see old master paintings like this to be auctioned at Post-war and Contemporary Art Sale. We are going to further talk about this interesting arrangement in our coming article, as well as to share the latest information gathered from media preview at Christie’s this Friday. Please stay tuned.


Leonardo a Vinci (1452-1519). Salvator Mundi.

Size: 65.7 x 45.7cm
Estimate: US$100,000,000

Auction house: Christie’s New York
Sale: Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Auction date: 2017/11/15
Public viewing in Hong Kong:
2017/10/13|1pm - 5:30pm
2017/10/14|10:30am - 5:30pm
2017/10/15|10:30am - 5:30pm
2017/10/16|10:30am - 2pm