In November 2017, the painting “Salvator Mundi” made the headlines because it was sold for a record $450 million. That’s the highest auction price ever paid for any work of art. Now, just four years later, the same work is all over the news again – because a new art catalog casts doubt on the painting’s authenticity.
It was Saudi culture minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah who won the bid at Christie’s auction house back in 2017. He bought it as a fully authenticated Leonardo da Vinci. But even then, some experts doubted that this version was a work by the master himself.
And now, the catalog of the Prado exhibition „Leonardo and the copy of the Mona Lisa“ registers the painting in the lesser category „attributed works, workshop or authorised and supervised by Leonardo.“ If other notable experts agree with this assessment, a massive depreciation is to be expected – and the Saudi investor faces a substantial loss.