Salvator Mundi: The Restored Treasure by Leonardo da Vinci

Featured image of Salvator Mundi

When someone mentions Leonardo da Vinci, the first thing that comes to almost everyone’s mind is the legendary ‘Mona Lisa’.

But have you heard about Salvator Mundi?

If not, then you are definitely missing out on some of the most decorated pieces of art!

One of the works of art that falls under the category of ‘creation at its finest’ is Salvator Mundi!

It is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. He created this masterpiece between 1499-1510. 

This is one of the most expensive paintings sold in the art world!

Not only this, Salvator Mundi is solely based on the biblical concept, which is why DaVinci used Jesus as his muse.

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After this creation, the trend of paintings of Jesus came into bright light, and artists from all over the world took inspiration from DaVinci. 

Salvator Mundi’s journey was not smooth sailing; it faced many ups and downs during and after its creation.

Without any further ado, let’s take a deep dive into the creation of Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi!

Suggested Read: The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

About The Artist: Leonardo Da Vinci

Creator of Salvator Mundi, Leonardo da Vinci
Self-Portrait of Leonardo da Vinci; Image Credit: jerrysartarama, Creative Commons license

A polymath prodigy from the High Renaissance era famously known as Leonardo da Vinci, his full name was Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci.

Not only was he a versatile painter but also a draughtsman, engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor, and architect.

When his notebooks got published, his ethereal knowledge on anatomy, botany, paleontology, etc. was brought to light.

Leonardo da Vinci was, is, and will always be one of the greatest and most famous painters of all time. 

Even after Leonardo passed away, his legacy was carried on by his younger contemporary, Michelangelo. 

The use of Renaissance humanism was also prominent in the paintings by Michelangelo. 

About His Creation: Salvator Mundi

Painting of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci
Salvator Mundi’s painting; Image Credit: india.com, Creative Commons license

One of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings of Jesus is Salvator Mundi!

In this painting, Christ can be seen wearing a Renaissance robe and facing forward towards the viewers.

This Da Vinci’s Jesus painting was created by him for King Louis and his consort, Anne of Brittany, after the conquest of Milan and Genoa. 

Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi 26-inch oil-on-panel painting features a half-length Christ as the Savior of the world.

As a matter of fact, Leonardo has painted Christ with a light beard and auburn ringlets, and he can be seen holding a crystal sphere in his left hand.

Leonardo, in this painting, has presented Christ as he is characterized in the Gospel of John 4:14.

Also, as seen and testified, the Father has sent his son Mundi to save the world.

Suggested Read: Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam

Significance of Salvator

The vintage image which led to the concept of Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci
Image Credit: arthive, Creative Commons license

The concept of creating Salvator Mundi by Da Vinci was something by which the world measured his artistic mastery. 

Now you might wonder, “Who was Salvator Mundi?”

Basically, Salvator Mudi is the savior of the world, but the tale is from modern times because Christ can be seen wearing a blue Renaissance robe.

Leonardo da Vinci was known for leaving his paintings incomplete, but he completed this masterpiece and left some mesmerizing details on it.

As an example, the crystal sphere that is in Mundi’s hand is fully translucent, which signifies that he is scrutinizing Christ’s clothing and also helping him guide the world.

If we take a closer look, we can also see that not only has Leonardo focused on the features of Salvator, but he has also paid attention to his surroundings.

On the top corners, we can see halos, which da Vinci has painted using contrast colors like purple and yellow. 

And the circles that represent his aura have been cleanly made by da Vinci and have blurred edges that blend perfectly within the painting.

High Renaissance Period

The High Renaissance period lasted from the late 14th century to the middle of the 15th century.

In this art period, the artists focused on creating classical and religious artworks.

By creating paintings that were inspired by harmonious elements and also revolved around the biblical stories that were at their peak in Rome.

Leonardo da Vinci also created some of the exemplary works in this period of the high Renaissance, and Salvator Mundi was one of those famous paintings.

This period of art brought artists together and also inspired them to create art that revolved around the journey of humanity.

This period was a blend of modern Renaissance and classical art, and the artists came together to take part in this vital journey of art.

On Closer Observation (Analysis)

The color palette of Salvator Mundi
The color palette of Salvator Mundi, Image Credit: nypost, Creative Commons license

Salvator Mundi, being one of the most famous paintings, has been restored and examined finely by the experts.

Examining the artwork has helped the professionals understand the materials used and the nature of the painting.

Whether it be before or after the restoration process, the painting still showcases some of the best paint handling effects.

Leonardo da Vinci’s color palette has seen fewer changes when it comes to painting masterpieces.

Same goes with the painting of Salvator Mundi, the significance of the colors black, charcoal, carbon, lead white, red oxide, lead tin yellow, etc.

Da Vinci has used the colors in a soothing way that complements the canvas and the subject of the painting.

When we observe closely, we can see the layering of colors done by Leonardo to give the painting a serene effect.

The robe, the crystal orb, and the grace in Salvatore’s eyes are what get viewers hooked on this masterpiece.

Signs And Symbols in the Painting

Grid strips of the signs and symbols used in the painting of Salvator Mundi
Elements and Symbolism used In Salvator Mundi; Original Image: artsy, Creative Commons license

In Leonardo da Vinci’s Jesus painting, Salvator Mundi, the elements of biblical stories have been used with important context.

This painting features Christ wearing a blue Renaissance robe, which represents the modernism in da Vinci’s painting.

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Salvator Mundi is holding his right hand up and making a cross sign with it, which means that he is giving out blessings.

In his left hand, he can be seen holding a crystal orb that is almost translucent, which hints at Christ’s role as Salvator Mundi and also represents the sphere of heaven.

Da Vinci has not solely used symbolism in this painting, but with the few elements he has used, it becomes clear that Salvator Mundi is fulfilling his duties as the savior of the world.

It is also believed that in the painting Jesus Christ’s right hand represents the Earth or the world we live in.

And, the orb represents that he has saved the world from evil and darkness.

The Controversy Behind Serenity

Salvator mundi's painting being hanged onto a wall
A stock image featuring Salvator Mundi, Original Image: artsy, Creative Commons license

Everything comes with its pros and cons, same goes with the painting of Salvator Mundi.

It has been rumored that this was not painted by Da Vinci.

One of the famous art critics, Jerry Saltz, claimed that when he saw the painting at the auction at Christie’s, he immediately said to himself, “This is not Leonardo’s work.”

Later, he quotes, 

I’m no art historian or any kind of expert in old masters. But I’ve looked at art for almost 50 years, and one look at this painting tells me it’s no Leonardo. The painting is absolutely dead.

Unlike Jerry, Martin Kemp, who is an art historian, critic, and expert in vintage artworks, claims that this oil painting of Jesus has definitely been painted by Da Vinci.

He justifies his point by saying that this painting has every element that Leonardo uses to engage his audience, including the uncanny aura around the painting and the color palette. 

There is also an argument that goes around the art world that why did the polymath genius leave the orb translucent, and why has he not painted the effects of light passing through the sphere?

To this end, the evidence states that Leonardo da Vinci mastered the science of optics.

He just wanted to create art in a more compact way, which is why Leonardo da Vinci did not show the original distortion behind the spherical orb.

Also read: The Backstory of Da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine

Salvator’s Impact! (Influence)

Salvator Mundi in a mockup image featuring a man thinking
A stock image featuring Salvator Mundi, Original Image: artsy, Creative Commons license

This image depicts that Christ had an altar personality, which was depicted by Leonardo da Vinci as exemplary brushwork.

Like the Mona Lisa, this painting also features Salvator sporting a grimace, which is somehow imaginary yet visually pleasing.

Da Vinci was famous for his designs, art, geology, cartography, and studies. His designs later helped in inventing things like the tank, parachute, etc.

He was also a very talented artist, whose pictures were all over art galleries and prestigious museums.

One of his most known paintings is the Mona Lisa, but Salvator Mundi easily defeated that one.

He was also interested in geology. He studied math, was also interested in reading, and writing backwards.

Fun Fact- It is believed that he wrote backwards to prevent the ink from getting smeared, but some believe that he did not want people to steal or forge his ideas.

What are your thoughts on this?

Suggested Read: Famous Mexican Artists

The Most Expensive Painting by DaVinci!

An image of an auction house
Image Credit: seekingalpha.com, Creative Commons license

As mentioned, it is the most expensive painting to be sold in the history of Christie’s and in the art world.

The biggest question which revolved around this painting was that where is the Salvator Mundi? And who is Salvator Mundi’s owner?

This painting by Leonardo da Vinci was sold for over $450 million at Christie’s auction house in 2017.

It was bagged by an anonymous buyer who was acting for a Saudi prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The painting has since been under the ownership of the Saudi Arabian Culture Ministry.

This painting is under the prince’s ownership and is on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as confirmed by Christie’s.

Suggested Read: Famous Louvre Paintings in Paris Museum

Final Thoughts

Salvator Mundi's painting in a room mockup
Salvator Mundi in a Mockup, Original Image: artsy, Creative Commons license

Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci was restored and brought back to life by the famous art critic and restorer, Dianne Dwyer Modestini. 

Being one of the most expensive paintings in the world, this painting served as a bridge between the era of the Renaissance and the modern world.

Usually, da Vinci is known to leave his paintings unfinished, but he has completed this one. 

This painting brought about a change in the world of art and also inspired other artists to start painting in the 15th century.

What I personally think about this painting is that when you take a look at it, you start observing the serenity with which da Vinci painted it.

Also, via Salvator Mundi, da Vinci has portrayed the Christ of the Renaissance era and the fact that he has been sent to save the world from calamity, evil, and darkness.

I personally admire the painting of Salvator Mundi a lot!

And you know what? You can secretly get this serene painting delivered to your doorstep!

Even though it is going to be a replica, the professionalism of our artists will leave you in awe and make you feel like the painting was delivered to you straight from Abu Dhabi!

If you wish to get Salvator Mundi’s painting then make sure to, 

Suggested Read: Famous Renaissance Artists 

Author’s Note

This was it from my side; I hope you like it!

And if you are still here, then thanks a lot for reading this article about the world’s most expensive painting, Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci.

If you have any questions or feedback for me, then make sure to drop them in the comment section!

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FAQs

Q1. Is Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci real or fake?

It has been assumed by many art critics that the painting of Salvator Mundi is not the real one, but after going through assessments and questioning, it has been proven that it is the same painting that was painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

Q2. Who owns the painting of Salvator Mundi now?

As confirmed by Christie’s, this painting is currently owned by Mohammad bin Salman, crown prince and the Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

Q3. Where is the painting of Salvator Mundi now?

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism obtains the painting for the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Q4. Who restored the famous painting of Salvator Mundi?

This famous painting, “Salvator Mundi,” by Leonardo da Vinci, was restored by Dianne Modestini. Salvator Mundi, before restoration, was still one of the most talked-about paintings due to its intriguing features.

Q5. What is Salvator Mundi’s meaning?

Salvator Mundi is a Latin term that means the Savior of the world.

Q6. What was the name of Leonardo da Vinci’s last painting?

The last painting created by the great artist Leonardo da Vinci was Salvator Mundi.

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