The most expensive painting in the world will soon be on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Salvator Mundi, a masterpiece by renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci, is set to be unveiled on September 18.
The Italian Renaissance artist’s piece, dated c. 1500, was sold at a Christie’s auction in 2017 for $450.3 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold. It was acquired on behalf of Abu Dhabi Department of Culture & Tourism in order to go on public display.
His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, described the masterpiece as “our gift to the world.”
“The Salvator Mundi highlights the inclusive nature of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s narrative and Abu Dhabi’s mission to promote a message of acceptance, and openness,” he said. “It is an opportunity for Abu Dhabi’s residents and visitors from around the world to engage with a rare and iconic work of great cultural significance at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Lost and hidden for so long in private hands, Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece is now our gift to the world. It belongs to all of us, who will have the chance to stand before it, and bear witness to the mastery of one of the most significant artists in living history.”
He added: “His Salvator Mundi represents an important chapter in the history of art, and offers a fully-rounded view of his artistic output. It will play a significant role in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s curatorial narrative, representing a critical moment of historical change that illuminates social evolution at that time.”
Salvator Mundi (Latin for Saviorr of the World) is an oil painting on walnut panel, which has been called one of the most significant artistic findings in recent history, being the first Leonardo da Vinci to be discovered since 1909.
HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, commented: “At more than 500 years old, Salvator Mundi still retains a remarkable presence and the lingering sense of mystery that characterises Leonardo’s finest works. As one of history’s greatest painters, polymaths and thinkers, da Vinci left his stamp on many of the disciplines that have shaped the modern world. He has remained an outstanding cultural icon and as such, his work has an important role to play in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s universal narrative, which encapsulates the history of humanity. With Salvator Mundi on display, we will be able to honour the influential legacy of da Vinci’s creative genius, share this extraordinary artwork with the world, and inspire a new generation of cultural leaders and creative thinkers.”