Gazing at a new planet: the Salvator Mundi

What can we learn from how we look at Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi?

I’m really interested in how we look at things. I already mentioned the Mona Lisa as an example of something that maybe we look at in the same way every time. I compared this with the ‘art’ on 15th and 16th century mosques and madras from what is now North East Iran. And suggested that perhaps the old Iranian ‘art’ was more challenging, more playful, for our eyes

Then came the Salvator Mundi

It’s another painting by Leonardo da Vinci.

Or maybe it isn’t

Christies mounted a huge international PR campaign about this ‘new planet’ of a painting and around 27,000 people went to see it.Now – at  $450,312,500 – it definitely is the most expensive painting in the world

So how we look at it is surely very interesting.

Just to test my original idea, there is actually a video of people looking at Salvator Mundi. Here it is down below.
And I think the people here are more often staring or even gaping, rather than exploring- or playing-type-looking.

Clearly, though, this kind of looking is where the money is
Even if, less than 100 years ago, the painting sold at Sothebys for a mere £45. That was before the extensive restoration? See the timelapse here

But surely the art market wheeler-dealer magic also has something to do with it?


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