Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Leonardo da Vinci's depiction of Christ at center of international dispute between collector, art dealder, and auction house

By Graham Bowley and William K. Rashbaum
The Swiss art dealer Yves Bouvier purchased Leonardo da Vinci's depiction of Christ for$80 million through Sotheby’s in 2013 and resold it within days to a Russian billionaire for $47.5 million more, according to court papers
The joy must have been palpable in 2013 when three New York art traders arranged through Sotheby’s to sell a newly discovered painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the Renaissance master, for $80 million. One of them had purchased it at an estate sale for less than $10,000 eight years earlier, when most experts viewed it as only the work of Leonardo’s school. But the traders’ joy later soured, according to court papers, when they learned that the man who bought it, an important Swiss art dealer, had turned around and sold the painting within days to a Russian billionaire for $47.5 million more. The traders have told Sotheby’s they plan to sue, claiming fraud, to recover the millions they say they missed out on, according to the court papers. [link]
“Salvator Mundi,” a depiction of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci.
The Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, at his Monaco apartment. Credit Benjamin Bechet for The New York Times