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The finger of suspicion points to the most expensive painting in the world


The finger of suspicion points to the most expensive painting in the world – because the hands are "too childish" to have been painted by Leonardo da Vinci

  • Salvator Mundi sold the painting for $ 450 million (£ 342 million) back in 2017
  • However, art expert Jacques Franck believes it was created by two of the artist's assistants
  • He argues that the fingers of Christ's right hand lack Da Vinci's anatomical precision

A suspicious finger was pointed at the most expensive painting in the world – because the hands are "too childish" to be painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

Salvator Mundi was sold for $ 450 million in 2017, but art expert Jacques Franck believes it is a "Workshop Leonardo" started by two of the artist's assistants.

The French historian argues that the fingers of Christ's right hand held in the sign of the cross lack Da Vinci's usual anatomical precision.

"When the forefinger and middle finger are fully raised, the other fingers in the palm of the hand cannot be bent too much, as can be seen in the blessed hand of Salvator Mundi," he said. "It is therefore an unlikely move."

Salvator Mundi (above) sold for $ 450 million (£ 342 million) in 2017, but art expert Jacques Franck believes it is a "Workshop Leonardo" created by two of the artist's assistants (file photo).

In an essay for ArtWatch UK magazine, Franck also claims showing too much fingernail on hand – something Da Vinci would have known – and says it is unlikely that the artist would have painted the oddly long and thin nose that mechanical strands of hair, the flat ball and the overshadowed neck.

He believes that two artists named Salai and Baltraffio who worked alongside Da Vinci are the true painters of the piece that has been described as the "male Mona Lisa".

The painting was sold at Christie's in New York, reportedly to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is said to be on display on his superyacht.

The auctioneers and other experts insist that the painting is an actual Da Vinci work, but Michael Daley, the director of ArtWatch UK, said, “Nobody was as anatomically demanding as Leonardo. The problems with the hands that Leonardo couldn't have painted is just one of the great things that haven't been talked about about the things of this painting.

"When you discover one thing that is wrong with a painting, you usually discover that everything is wrong with a painting."

www.artwatch.org.uk

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