The Prado Museum has lowered the category of the painting ‘Salvator Mundi’, cataloging it as construction site “attributed” to Leonardo da Vinci, amid the controversy over its true origin.
Instead of placing the painting on the list of works painted with certainty by Da Vinci, the Madrid museum researcher Ana González Mozo has included it in the new Catalogue of the Madrid museum under the title ‘Leonardo and the copy of Mona Lisa of the Prado Museum’ among the works “attributed, workshop or authorized and supervised”, revealed The Art Newspaper.
‘Salvator Mundi’ revolutionized the art world in 2017, when it was sold to Saudi Prince and Culture Minister Bader bin Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Farhan al Saud for $ 450 million. Christie’s auction house called it “the greatest artistic rediscovery of the last 100 years.”
Doubts about the authenticity of the ‘Salvator Mundi’ arose when in September 2018 the Louvre Museum branch in Abu Dhabi unexpectedly canceled the opening of the work. In parallel, the experts of the Louvre Museum concluded that the oil came out of Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop, but was not painted by the master himself. They wanted to publish their findings, but were unable to do so, as the owner refused to loan the work and the institution cannot comment publicly on privately owned paintings that it has not exhibited.
From El Prado they commented to the agency EFE that they have “no position” on the issue of the authorship of the painting and specified that they limited themselves to using an “academic formula to acknowledge that there is a debate” about it.
In the new catalog, the controversial work is listed as a Cook’s version, having been acquired by the Londoner Francis Cook in 1900. González Mozo indicates that some experts think that there was a prototype already lost of Da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’, while that others think that the work sold at auction in 2017 is original.