Why Remake ‘Salvator Mundi’? Museum Director Talks Canny Copy of $450 M. Work
Art Business

Why Remake ‘Salvator Mundi’? Museum Director Talks Canny Copy of $450 M. Work

An uncanny copy for a canny project. The work in situ. PHOTO: ANTONIO MANISCALCO. COURTESY CASTELLO DI RIVOLI MUSEO D’ARTE CONTEMPORANEA, RIVOLI-TURIN A very familiar-looking Jesus—a Jesus that one might even call infamous— now hangs in the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin, Italy. The work went on view Wednesday night, and in photographs, it looks indistinguishable from Leonardo’s Salvador Mundi (ca. 1500), the painting that sold for an astonishing $450.3 million at Christie’s in New York almost exactly two years ago. But it is a new creation, the Castello di Rivoli revealed—a piece by the German-Turkish artist Taner Ceylan, a careful adopter of painterly styles. That announcement ended speculation that the museum had begun earlier in the week when it shared this rather unusual verbiage in a press release, “Will Castello di Rivoli … present a painting that could be the famous Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci?” Its director added that the plan was to show “a painting that makes the mystery of the Salvator Mundi even more exciting.” Reached late on Wednesday at the museum, that director, the inimitable Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, was eager to explain the genesis of the project, which addresses contemporary issues […]

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