At Christie’s in Rockefeller Center, New York, a 500-year-old painting by Leonardo da Vinci lit up the exhibition space
Many people came to spend time with the da Vinci portrait before it sold at auction. It was bid on for over twenty minutes until abruptly the painting closed at $450 Million. It is a remarkable sale not only because of its price. The picture has been restored, and people are now in awe.
Christie: A portrait of the world from the eyes of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi. As this masterpiece was placed on public display, we captured the real-life emotions that this painting, its beauty and divine subject matter stirred in the people who came to see it.
A video camera was set up underneath the painting to capture the reaction of all who gazed upon da Vinci’s art. The responses are notably much more interesting than the portrait itself. Men and women of all ages and races responded to da Vinci’s painting of Jesus holding a clear globe in one hand while giving a benediction the world with the other.
The painting spent more than six years in a restoration process. During this time, art critics and experts decided the artwork was authentic. The layers of paint and placement of the fingers indicate the painting chipped and touch up was necessary over the years of decay. The process of determining the validity of this work was tedious and time-consuming. Nevertheless, this sale makes it all worth it.
Those who viewed the artwork showed such a wide range of responses
Within the audience, the camera picked up a few celebrities admiring Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which means savior of the world. Those who had the opportunity to appreciate the work also displayed expressions ranging from joy, pain, hope, awe, discomfort, etc.
Salvator Mundi is only one of maybe 16 paintings by da Vinci remaining scattered throughout museums all over the world. Sketchbooks of his drawings are some of the most well known of Renaissance artists. Da Vinci’s contemporaries are some of the most significant artists from the Renaissance era.
Additionally, he was often commissioned to do extraordinary works by high officials. A few of his other paintings include:
- Mona Lisa
- The Last Supper
- Vitruvian Man
- The Battle of Anghiari
Every artist tries to convey a message or feeling from their works. Indeed da Vinci was no different. It is my opinion that he most likely would have loved the idea of filming the reaction of those returning the gaze of the image he captured. That, of course, is far more interesting than the art piece. Social media videos agree as there are posts from the viewing.
Likewise, if the painting were to be damaged, all those people would remember how they felt standing in front of the portrait. That is why we create art, to touch the soul of another.
That is all many of us want to do.