• Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi was documented in a 17th century etching “after Leonardo” by Wenceslaus Hollar, who likely had access to the original in Charles I’s collection. It is strikingly similar in composition
• Studies of the planning beneath the paintwork have revealed that the artist made compositional changes, notably in the positioning of the thumb, which are not reflected in any other copies. This suggests that Christ’s pose was originally composed on this board
• A panel of scholars who have studied the painting first-hand after its first conservation in 2007 have unanimously agreed that the work is an original
• Pigments correspond to those known to have been used by the artist
• …the painting doesn’t resemble Leonardo’s other portraits. “The hypnotic head and upper torso fill the panel edge to edge like an icon, whereas Leonardo’s figures move, torque, and engage with the atmosphere around them,” writes Richard Dorment.
• It was reportedly bought at an estate sale in the United States about six or seven years ago, and fell into the hands of a consortium of dealers, including Robert Simon. In July Simon declined to comment about the painting, the price, or the location of the auction. “I’ve been asked not to discuss it,” he said.
• No pre restoration colour photographs of the painting have been released, adding to the mystery which surrounds it.