Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (ca. 1500) has captivated the world since its sale in 2017 at Christie’s for $450 million, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at auction. Its story is the subject of The Lost Leonardo, directed by Andreas Koefoed.
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics, The Lost Leonardo debuted last month at the Tribeca Film Festival and will open theatrically in New York and Los Angeles on August 13. Above, take an exclusive first look at the film’s new trailer.
Salvator Mundi’s rediscovery occurred in 2005, when the painting was sold at a New Orleans auction for $1,175. Two U.S. art dealers took a chance on the painting, believing it might be a lost masterpiece, perhaps by even one by Leonardo himself. “There are only about 15 Leonardos known,” Alexander Parish, one of the art dealers responsible for the rediscovery, says in the trailer. “To say that I have found a picture like this is just so far-fetched you’re just going to look like a fool.”
From there, Koefoed plots the painting’s ascent in value, from its restoration to its record-breaking sale four years ago. Special attention is paid to all the intrigue that continues to surround the painting, particularly from critics who think the restoration either went too far, or that there are more nefarious motives at play.
Interest in Leonardo is gaining. Earlier this week, two historians, Alessandro Vezzosi and Agnese Sabato, published the findings of a years-long research project focused on Leonardo’s family tree, revealing that the artist has at least 14 living relatives. That research marks a first step in sequencing Leonardo’s DNA. And later today, Christie’s London will offer a drawing by the Renaissance master, titled Head of a Bear, that is expected to fetch between $11.2 million and $16.9 million.