Lost and hidden for so long in private hands, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece is now our gift to the world. It belongs to all of us.”

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi

Leonardo da Vinci, a symbol of the Renaissance.

Leonardo da Vinci is one of history’s greatest artists, shaping the modern world through his ideas. Salvator Mundi is one of fewer than 20 known surviving paintings by the Renaissance’s most famous figures.

The rediscovery of Salvator Mundi is one of the most significant artistic findings in history. It encapsulates an important chapter in the history of art, and its first ever display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi is not only a milestone for the region, but for the world too.

Unveiling this painting in the context of the museum’s own narrative on humanity and its message of acceptance and openness is testament to its enduring beauty, message and relevance.

The master and his craft.

Dating from circa 1500, Salvator Mundi is an oil on panel painting, executed onto a walnut panel, depicting a half-length figure of Christ the Saviour of the World, facing the viewer, and dressed in flowing robes of lapis and crimson. The figure holds a crystal orb in his left hand as he raises his right hand in benediction.

Da Vinci’s seemingly infinite curiosity was equalled only by his power of invention. His genius lay in his ability to connect science and anatomy, geology, maths, engineering, architecture, theatre, optics and dozens of other disciplines. In Salvator Mundi, da Vinci’s knowledge of optics is evident in the representation of the orb. It is rendered with beautiful scientific precision.

The unveiling.

What remained hidden from the public for more than 500 years will be on display for the world to see.


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