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Half a million good reasons to talk about Old Masters



Precisely, they write $ 450,312,500. But they mean “Leonardo”.

Considerations could also end here. Apotheosis, Game-Set-Match, Epic Win, if you like.

After all, as we have already forecasted: what if? What would happen if, besides authors such as Gentileschi, a Michelangelo or a Leonardo came up on the market? Or even just an “idea of Leonardo”, with all the due peace to the lovers of the psychedelic inflatable dogs made by a dinghy artist.

But the story could turn itself potentially historic, it could indeed change the art market irreversibly.

The details were and are there all, tasty and juicy, directed with great savoir-faire, able to transform the entire affair in one of those films about art somewhat loved by everyone, where rumors and stereotypes mix themselves with truth and poetry.

The painting is being sold by the usual omnipotent oligarch (the owner of Monaco AS, to understand) who is really pissed off. He feels he has paid too much for it being cheated by another classic of the genre, the Swiss-French wheeler-dealer who promised him strong stuff and, incidentally, has given him enormous stuff, given the gain that Mr Rybolovlev has filed right yesterday.

The auction was not the classic expected for the Old Masters, but an auction entirely devoted to contemporary art, with Salvator Mundi positioned at lot no. 9. A choice that has annoyed many, but it has found the consensus of many others: let’s stop with the chronological division, stop with the contemporary art at all costs and stop with the dorky moaning of many (too many) historical art pseudo-experts, only able to speak about a painting with the same depth as an average Italian who’s speaking of football at the bar.

In just 19 minutes there was a millions dollar scuffle, with tension in the air worthy of a Tarantino’s movie.

And Tarantino-like are also the characters who fought for the painting:

There is Budi Tek, the Indonesian magnate-philantropist with pancreatic cancer, who is building a personal museum aiming to consacrate him into history (what better than a Leonardo, then?).

Eli Broad, an American entrepreneur of Lithuanian-Jewish origins (practically speaking: a living nightmare for the lovers of the Pluto-Jewish-Mason’s plot) halfway between Trump and Rockefeller.

Sheikh Al-Maya bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, namely “The Sister of the Emir of Qatar”.

Uli Sigg, a futuristic Swiss ambassador-manager, who’s probably also the owner of a “death ray” hidden in a free-port in Zurich.

Donna Dasha Zhukova (the bored and fatal [former] wife of Abramovic).

The spouses Hecilda and Sergio Fadel, lords of the “petrodollarum sudamericanum”.

And even Gerhard Richter, the well-known contemporary painter, a retarded and unhappy man, a moron, but with a lot of money to spend.

The Leonarders

And yes, even Leo Di Caprio was there, perhaps convinced that he could grab the other Leo, the Da Vinci one. Sadly he was bulldozed by the characters above at the beginning already.Many of the above mentioned personalities are avid and trusted collectors of contemporary art. Yet, one after another they bowed to the evidence: a Leonardo is worth more than any Koons.

But the actual buyer? An anonymous Mister X (maybe, at this point, a Reptilian… or even Leonardo himself!) who played in the finals by phone against another currently unknown character.
Will he resist the temptation to disclose himself and become Mister Da Vinci ripping the nickname from Dan Brown?

The artwork is the most expensive on the market ever, leaving behind by several distances Basquiat, Picasso, Manet, Cezanne, Rubens and Gentileschi, not to mention Mr. Warhol, present in the same auction with his “60 last suppers” [… ] that was virtually ignored by all those present at the auction, literally crowded around the Salvator Mundi with a pop-hysteria worthy of Monna Lisa.
And details don’t count. Because here an idea was sufficient to move the World of Art.

In short, once again, it is confirmed what was already clear since a long time to the real experts, true connoisseurs, international analysts, rating agencies, Eurocrats and G8 members:

Old Masters do it better.


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TEFAF - Maastricht 2022, 24.06.2022 | 30.06.2022

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