Leonardo da Vinci is widely considered to be one of the brightest intellects in the history of mankind. Today, there are fewer than 20 pieces of his known work and more than a century has passed since one was rediscovered. However, when two da Vinci admirers spotted an unattributed painting of Jesus Christ at the New Orleans Auction Gallery in 2005 – valued at £1,000 – they were convinced it was worth taking a chance on.
Art dealers Alexander Parrish and Robert Simon purchased the artwork from Susan Hendry Tureau for just under £7,500, on the hunch it could be a da Vinci.
Then, guarding their secret for more than two years, the pair teamed up with renowned restorer Dianne Modestini, and later confirmed it was genuine.
Ms Dianne Modestini described how working on the piece was a truly unique experience during the BBC’s “Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure” series.
She said in 2011: “He [Jesus] really dominates the space and captures your attention with the gaze.
Lenardo Da Vinci secret paintign was bought by art dealers (Image: GETTY/AMAZON)
The Salvator Mundi shows Jesus Christ (Image: GETTY)
But now you know it’s like ‘Oh God, why couldn’t we still have this thing?
Susan Hendry Tureau
“It has an incredible presence, that no other picture I’ve ever worked on, and I’ve worked on some very important things, has had this effect on me.
“If you watch how he emerges at the end of the day when the light goes down, it is the kind