The Last Leonardo

The Last Leonardo An Epic Quest Exposes Hidden Truths About Leonardo Da Vinci S Salvator Mundi, The Recently Discovered Masterpiece That Sold For 450 Million And Might Not Be The Real Thing.For Two Centuries, Art Dealers And Historians Searched In Vain For The Holy Grail Of Art History A Portrait Of Christ As The Salvator MundiSavior Of The World By Leonardo Da Vinci At Last, In 2005 A Compelling Candidate Was Discovered By A Small Time Old Masters Dealer At A Second Rate Auction House In New Orleans After A Six Year Restoration, An Exhibition At The National Gallery In London, And The Help Of Canny Swiss Art Dealer Yves Bouvier, The Painting Was Sold To The News Making Russian Oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev After The Very Public Fallout Between Rybolovlev And Bouvier, The Painting Went On To Make Headlines Again In 2017 As The Most Expensive Painting Ever Sold When A Proxy Of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Won The Masterwork At A Christie S Auction For 450 Million But Controversy Still Surrounds The Artwork Did The Auction House And The Art Dealers, Curators, And Art Historians Behind This Find Actually Have The Right Painting, Or Is There Another Did Leonardo Even Paint A Salvator Mundi Some Scholars Argue He Was Only Occasionally Painting At The Time The Work Is Dated Was The Painting Restored To Such An Extent That It Became A Leonardo, Though It Was In Fact The Work Of His Apprentices In Short Is It The Genuine Artifact, The Result Of A Frenzied Marketing Genius Or Perhaps A Little Of Both In A Thriller Like Pursuit Of The Truth, Ben Lewis Examines The Five Hundred Year Cinderella Story Of This Painting And, Astonishingly, Turns Up The Smoking Guns, Including The Burnt Initials Of Ownership By An English King On A Different Salvator Mundi And The Identity Of The American Family Who Owned The Painting For Some Of Its Missing Decades Through This Journey, We Come To See How The Global Art Market Evolved To What It Is Today, And We Are Left To Ask Ourselves What Art Means To Humanity, Both Past And Present.

[Read] ➳ The Last Leonardo  Author Ben Lewis –
  • Hardcover
  • 384 pages
  • The Last Leonardo
  • Ben Lewis
  • 20 January 2018
  • 9781984819253

10 thoughts on “The Last Leonardo

  1. Sue says:

    The Last Leonardo is an exhaustive look at one painting, Salvator Mundi, thought to be a previously unacknowledged original by Leonardo da Vinci In this detailed life of the painting, Lewis presents a useful biography of Leonardo along with background on his painting techniques over time and his school, the artists who learned from and worked with him Lewis also follows Leonardo s travels from city to city as he moves from the favor of one leader to another All of the above information is important in the attempts that were made in the years between ca 2005 and 2012 to create a provenance for the Salvator Mundi that would eventually be auctioned at an incredible price But the question wasdid Leonardo paint this particular Salvator Mundi out of the many that are held in various collections around the world.To answer that question, Lewis defines exactly what a provenance is and then takes the reader on a long journey through the world of Leonardo, the world of the Masters, how Leonardo s school functioned, how art was collected between the 16th and 21st centuries There is so much here of art itself, history, culture, philosophy When we reach the late 20th century, we encounter a new world of collecting art as investment and tax dodge There are names mentioned I didn t expect to see in this particular book Ah I see I have neglected the field of restoration That too has a lot to say about this painting I must admit I had no idea the varying degrees of restoration that exist on well known masterpieces not that specifics are given, but hints tell so much So what happened to Salvator Mundi You can google the auction to find what it sold for Is it a Leonardo You really should read this book to learn the intricate answer If you are interested in art, art history, cultural history, I believe you will enjoy and appreciate this book.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

  2. Netta says:

    If this is the only book about Leonardo da Vinci that you ever read, don t waste your time You d be lost in the crazy, shadowy world of those who love Leonardo, study Leonardo and dare to write about him, eliminating myths and lies though often creating them If you already know who Leonardo was and why there s so much fuss around him, and you want to get a glimpse of the world surrounding him and his myth, go for it Ben Lewis had a mammoth task to place into context the world s most expensive painting Salvator Mundi, which is, Leonardo or not, a work of art with truly impressive, Dan Brown worth is that a compliment anyway provenance And he did better than Dan Brown, that s for sure Being a documentary film maker and art critic, Ben Lewis did his best to make his investigation both engaging and profound He talked to many Leonardists who offered their opinions, stories and ideas, and he let their voices shape the polyphonic narrative, hence allowing himself to be or less neutral The book is abundance of names, facts, notes, and, important, stories, because Salvator Mundi Is much than just a painting or a masterpiece , than a scandalous case or the art world sensation It s a story of the master standing in front of it with a brush, thinking about his next brushstroke of a thing which was once created by one of the greatest men of his time and then owned by the powerful, the rich, the cunning and the na ve Do we really want to know if this is true

  3. megan says:

    Not sure who the intended audience was for this book, which would have benefitted from rigorous editing It explains basic art world concepts so is clearly not intended for specialists, yet gets into minutia relevant to only select art historians, so doesn t seem like a piece for general readers, either I finished reading because it was in my possession but didn t enjoy it, and say that as an art historian who typically devours art related trade books with enthusiasm.

  4. Claudia says:

    Sold for 450 million dollars at auction in 2017, this version of Salvator Mundi set a new high price for a piece of artwork Yet controversial because experts can not agree if it was actually created by Leonardo da Vinci, one of his apprentices or just an unknown artist from the early to mid 1500 s Also, the amount of restoration that was necessarily done to this heavily damaged piece makes some feel it was of the restorer s work rather than the Italian legend.The author shifts between the modern dealers, the restoration staff as well as the historians researching the provenance or history and to Leonardo s life, travels and questions All the controversies surrounding it was well as his own personal investigation into the possible ownership between the late 1950 until Robert Simon purchased it 2005.Lewis also goes into the murky world of the art market where artwork is sold tax free as it is moved between vaults at the Geneva Freeport or it s corresponding alternative facilities in Singapore and Luxembourg The massive scandal centering about Yves Bouvier and the defrauding of Dmitry Rybolovlev reportedly one of the Salvator Mundi s owners.Also there is a look into the field of art restoration how damaged most of the great artworks of the world currently are but to actually go through cleaning or removal of the deteriorating and color changing varnish these Old Masters used would make those world renown pieces unrecognizable.The latest owner is supposedly the heir to Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman The current location of the painting is unknown since its initial showing in the Louvre Abu Dhabi was cancelled It is suspected to stored in a vault at the Geneva Freeport, Switzerland.As for my personal opinion it may be a product of Leonard s workshop using some cartoons created by the Master himself He may have even put brush to the work, cleaning or clarifying here and there Was it completely painted by Leonardo Not in my opinion but I certainly am not an expert by a long shot But this literary work certainly gives insight in an industry that is as secretive as the bidders that purchase these assets And that is a sad part the beauty of the artwork is completely overwhelmed by its investment potential.2019 102

  5. Zohar - says:

    For reviews and bookish posts please visit Last Leonardo The Secret Lives of the World s Most Expensive Painting by Ben Lewis is a non fiction book about Leonardo da Vinci s small oil painting the Salvator Mundi, sold at auction for 450 million Mr Lewis in an author, documentary filmmaker and an art critic.This book popped up on my reading radar a day or two after the famous Sotheby s auction where the painting the Salvator Mundi, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci sold for a record amount of 450 million Frankly, I don t see it but what do I know.The Last Leonardo The Secret Lives of the World s Most Expensive Painting by Ben Lewis goes to tell about the world of obscene art prices that is invisible to a layman like myself The fine art culture, where works are used for joy, investments, risk, park money, or bragging rights.Mr Lewis raises questions about the backstory and authenticity of the painting, while informing the reader about its historical status At the crux of the matter is whether or not the painting is actually by the famous Renaissance master, or by someone in his shop Experts must gather evidence, use detective skills, and their in depth knowledge of art, art history, and painting personality of the artist involved There is, of course, the matter of an unknown variable which many art experts believe distinguish them from the rest , they can simply tell if a masterpiece can be attributed to a certain master.But rest assured, it gets much complicated, as the author states attributions to Leonardo can be driven by personal connections, professional networks and rivalries, academic ambitions, and financial interests While not surprising, it s mind blowing that this type of pettiness for lack of a better word plays a part in such an analysis that could make an object s value move in the millions of dollars.This book is well written, expertly researched, and very informative As I mentioned, I m not much an a fine art connoisseur, but the narrative held my interest from beginning to end.

  6. Mary Rose says:

    My full review can be found on YouTube here Last Leonardo is a refreshing look at one of the most curious works of art that has surfaced in the art market lately This was not my first encounter with the Salvator Mundi, as I worked as an art dealer and followed the case closely when it was being shopped around Later, in 2017 when it broke the record for the most expensive painting ever sold, I had some serious doubts The book is divided into roughly three intertwining sections One is a biography of Leonardo Da Vinci This is a fairly general biography that doesn t add much new but does give the uninitiated a better idea of who Leonardo Da Vinci was and why he has become almost an archetypal artistic genius Another follows the art dealer Robert Simon in the early 2000s as he attempts to research, restore with the help of Dianne Modestini and sell the Salvator Mundi The last section follows the Salvator Mundi s provenance over the course of the nearly five hundred years from the time it was produced until now.Of these three sections, I think many people would find this third section the most tedious Lewis is very thorough in explaining how old masters were restored or overpainted , cropped, destroyed, re attributed, and lost over the course of centuries However, I thought it was absolutely necessary to support the most interesting part of the book Ben Lewis poking holes in the sketchy attribution and even sketchier provenance of the Salvator Mundi.This book would be my recommendation for anyone who is interested in learning about the Salvator Mundi as this book gives the most detailed history of the painting and the mystery surrounding it that I have read Further, I think Ben Lewis has a great sense of humor and a great sense of drama, which makes parts of this novel read like a gripping true crime tale It was a joy to read.

  7. Jquick99 says:

    I would have liked this so much if it was edited down about half I m very interested in the topic, but really thought it dragged down in telling the back story There s also repeating of information which didn t help I also don t like it when the author involves himself into the story, and wish this was edited out.And, maybe I missed this, but I had to look up what Salvator Mundi meant, since it seems there s a bunch of pictures with this name Latin for Savior of the World With all the minutiae in the book, why isn t this explained defined

  8. Michael says:

    Fascinating insight into the history of art dealing through the frame of the story of the Salvator Mundi Full of interesting historical events and commentary on the corrupt relationships between dealers, museums and owners Extraordinary.

  9. Onceinabluemoon says:

    Interesting bit of art history, listened to audio and was only luke warm even though I normally would devour books like this I was obsessed with the British pronunciation of renaissance, tried as I might could not perfect it, funny how the mind works when listening with headsets

  10. Ximena Apisdorf says:

    Amazing reading

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