Salvator Mundi is a painting of Christ as Salvator Mundi recently attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, who is known to have painted the subject. It was lost and later rediscovered, and restored and exhibited in 2011. The painting shows Christ, in Renaissance garb, giving a benediction with his raised right hand and crossed fingers while holding a crystal sphere in his left hand.
In 2005, the painting was acquired by a consortium of art dealers that included Robert Simon, a specialist in Old Masters. It was heavily overpainted so that it looked like a copy, and was described as “a wreck, dark and gloomy”. It was then restored and authenticated as a painting by Leonardo. It was exhibited by London's National Gallery during the Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan from 9 November 2011 to 5 February 2012. In 2013 the painting was sold to Russian collector Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million.
The painting was compared with, and found superior to, twenty other versions of the Salvator Mundi. There are several features in the painting which have led to the positive attribution: There are a number of pentimenti evident, and the unusual technique of pressing down the side of a palm into the paint is typical of many Leonardo works. The way the ringlets of hair and the knotwork across the stole have been handled are also seen as indicative of Leonardo's style. Furthermore, the pigments and the walnut panel upon which the work was executed are consistent with other Leonardo paintings.
Leonardo expert Martin Kemp, who helped authenticate the work, said that he knew immediately upon first viewing the restored painting that it was the work of Leonardo: "It had that kind of presence that Leonardos have ... that uncanny strangeness that the later Leonardo paintings manifest."