Christie’s held a press conference this morning to announce a pair of lots for the November 15th Evening sale that share a theme, Leonardo da Vinci. Starting with the massive 30ft long 60 Last Suppers by Andy Warhol which is offered with a $50m estimate (and a third-party guarantee), Christie’s Alex Rotter and Loic Gouzer worked back toward the recently re-discovered and authenticated, Salvator Mundi, painted by Leonardo.
Despite the Leonardo’s recent history as one of the works purchased by Dmitry Rybolovlev for allegedly inflated prices, the painting comes back to the market with a $100m estimate which is 20% less than what Rybolovlev was said to have paid. But 25% more than what his intermediary, Yves Bouvier, paid to acquire it. More than that, Gouzer has arranged a third party guarantee. So the work will sell. And the market will go e some answers about the validity of the $127.5m Rybolovlev paid.
With Walter Isaacson poised to publish a biography of Leonardo that is sure to make the renaissance master the subject of a global conversation once again, Christie’s appears to have pulled off an impressive package.