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Artnet debunks would be art critic Jerry Saltz with in depth conversation with a real Leonardo expert, Martin Kemp. Walter Isaacson also gets exposed as a fish out of water too. One of artnet's best pieces in a long time.

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09b leonardo 451millionLeonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi made $451m in Christie's at Post War and Contemporary Sale on 16 November 2017 - learn more about the artist, here

‘Debunking This Picture Became Fashionable’: Leonardo da Vinci Scholar Martin Kemp on What the Public Doesn’t Get About ‘Salvator Mundi’


Art critic Jerry Saltz says the frontal view of Christ is out of step with Leonardo’s style and represented a major stylistic step backward.

Well, what Jerry Saltz is saying is actually ill-informed. I think he doesn’t understand the nature of Renaissance painting or Renaissance image-making. The Salvator Mundi is not a very common subject, but it’s a standard subject and to be a Salvator Mundi you have to do three things. First, Christ has to look at the spectator; his stare becomes unavoidable. In fact, that’s commented on at the time—that the point of Salvator Mundi is this ubiquitous view of God. The second aspect is that Christ should be blessing. This is part of the subject. And the third aspect is he should be holding a globe. Now in Leonardo’s case, he has done something very remarkable which none of the boys or copyists could do or would understand. He’s turned the globe into a crystalline sphere. It’s a rock crystal sphere with what in geology are called inclusions, gaps. They’re not air bubbles like you get in glass. I did some geology at Cambridge when I was there doing natural science. As soon as I saw the sphere, I thought it looked like rock crystal. So you’ve got these three absolutely required elements of the Salvator Mundi if it’s to be a Salvator Mundi. It was certainly a commissioned painting.

For more of this well informed piece please go to:

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As for Saltz, his own neurotic words haunt him now: I don't look for skill in art...Skill has nothing to do with technical proficiency

gefilte saltz min

You may also like to read:

* How Alex Parish and Robert Simon found the lost masterpiece by Leonardo DaVinci, Salvatore Mundi

* Salvator Mundi - $400m Plus Commissions

* DaVinci found now lost?

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