The sale of Leonardo DaVinci’s “Salvator Mundi” in 2017 for a staggering $450.3 million marked a historic moment in the world of art auctions.
The masterpiece, often referred to as the “Last Da Vinci,” was sold by Christie’s and instantly became one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.
The seller of this iconic artwork was Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev, who had acquired the painting from the Swiss art broker Yves Bouvier. However, what followed the sale was a legal battle that added even more intrigue to the story.
Rybolovlev accused Bouvier of fraud, claiming that he had overcharged him by more than $1 billion for a collection of artworks, including “Salvator Mundi.” The dispute centered around the commissions and fees charged by Bouvier during these transactions. This legal battle brought significant attention to the art market’s less transparent aspects, raising questions about the pricing and fees involved in high-stakes art deals.
The high-profile dispute between Rybolovlev and Bouvier served as a stark reminder of the immense sums of money at play in the art world and the complexities that can arise when art and business intersect. “Salvator Mundi” continues to be a symbol of both artistic excellence and the financial intricacies that often surround it.