|Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi (Savior of the World), c.1500, oil on a wood panel, 26 x 18 ½ inches.|
Finding a Leonardo is especially significant because there are so few of them in existence — only fourteen. In fact the number of Leonardo paintings known to be lost (The Battle of Anghiari and Leda and the Swan among them) almost equals the total of his existing work.
The Salvator Mundi will be exhibited at London's National Gallery as part of a show about Leonardo's years at the court of Ludovico Sforza that will include an extraordinary seven of the fourteen existing Leonardos. It opens November 9 and will run through February 5, 2012.
|Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, St Augustine, c.1600, oil on canvas, 47 x 37 inches|
now, as reported in the Guardian, the British dealer and art historian Clovis Whitfield unearthed a Caravaggio that was covered in old varnish and bad repainting.
The painting is considered an example of Caravaggio’s mature work (done when he was only 28!). It adds to our understanding of Caravaggio because, according to Renaissance scholar David Franklin,
“Often a [lost original] composition is known from copies but not this one. ...It shows a side of Caravaggio perhaps that is not as drastic and antagonistic as usual but where he was working very closely with [Vincenzo] Giustiniani [Caravaggio’s patron in Rome] to try to create a much more quiet image of a saint."
The painting is currently at the National Gallery of Canada in an exhibition called Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome.