Friday, 17 November 2017

globus cruciger

The curators over at Hyperallergic take a closer look at the rather controversial, record-setting auction of a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and its buyer—unnamed but surely a member of that exclusive set of the highest percentile of wealthy oligarchs—who through the acquisition and trade of such treasure exert pressure on both geopolitics and the art world by inflating the price of such works beyond the endowment of any museum.
Indeed, the provenance of Salvator Mundi (Saviour of the World, a theme in Christian iconography) is uncertain and the attribution to Leonardo is recent and based on only on some signature pentimenti and is perhaps at best a piece from the master’s studio with a touch of his instruction. If the identity of the seller, a Russian billionaire potash-magnate and philanthropist, sounds familiar to anyone, it could be over a real-estate transaction with Donald Trump and a long-standing reputation of using art to shield his monetary wealth from others. Outside of the cost-range of the world’s museums, the painting is probably destined to return to the cavernous bowels of the freeport from whence it briefly emerged until next time it’s swapped among the plutocracy.