Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Lost Leonardo Review: A Fascinating Look At The Salvator Mundi And The Art World

Jerry Saltz	...	Self Martin Kemp	Martin Kemp	...	Self Doug Patteson	Doug Patteson	...	Self / CIA Officer Alexandra Bregman	Alexandra Bregman	...	Self Robert K. Wittman	Robert K. Wittman	...	Self / investigator Robert Simon	Robert Simon	...	Self Dianne Dwyer Modestini	Dianne Dwyer Modestini	...	Self Evan Beard	Evan Beard	...	Self David Kirkpatrick	David Kirkpatrick	...	Self Maria Teresa Fiorio	Maria Teresa Fiorio	...	Self Alexander Parish	Alexander Parish	...	Self Bradley Hope	Bradley Hope	...	Self Didier Rykner	Didier Rykner	...	Self Bernd Lindemann	Bernd Lindemann	...	Self Warren Adelson	Warren Adelson	...	Self Georgina Adam	Georgina Adam	...	Self Luke Syson	Luke Syson	...	Self

Release date: August 20, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Andreas Koefoed

THE LOST LEONARDO is the inside story behind the Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting ever sold at $450 million. From the moment the painting is bought for $1175 at a shady New Orleans auction house, and the restorer discovers masterful Renaissance brushstrokes under the heavy varnish of its cheap restoration, the Salvator Mundi’s fate is determined by an insatiable quest for fame, money and power. As its price soars, so do questions about its authenticity: is this painting really by Leonardo da Vinci?

Yves Bouvier	...	Self Stéphane Lacroix	Stéphane Lacroix	...	Self Alison Cole	Alison Cole	...	Self Antoine Harari	Antoine Harari	...	Self Kenny Schacter	Kenny Schacter	...	Self Bruce Lamarche	Bruce Lamarche	...	Self Jacques Franck	Jacques Franck	...	Self Frank Zöllner	Frank Zöllner	...	Self
The Lost Leonardo tells an interesting tale; one that is both factually fascinating but also well told.  The film isn't just about the painting itself, but goes into the art world some of the players in it.  It does this with interviews from dealers, critics, and everyone in between.  The movie gathers a distinguished and interesting group of individuals to discuss this strange painting and its very public history.  I really liked how the film framed the discussion in terms of the business of art and how art can influence people and politics.  Although the movie starts as more of a historical perspective on the Salavtor Mundi, it quickly turns into an exploration of the art world and of the perception of art on the geopolitical stage.

It was also interesting to see how the business of buying and selling art works.  there is so much obfuscation and so much unknown in this.  When you are purchasing a work, you can only do so much research to know if it is what it appears to be.  For this work, the determination that it is a Leonardo was based more on the technique rather than on specific evidence of the painter.  And even then, this film also looks at some of the obfuscation that can take place in the buying and selling of art; including having to rely on intermediaries and auction houses to make this happen.

And turning to the work of art itself, it is fascinating to see how this painting has both influenced the art world and the geopolitical world.  I really liked the last part of the film showing how this work become a piece in a larger political game.  For someone that is not versed in this world, this was both an interesting dive and also helped to show how this specific piece has been used in some important negotiations and world policies.  And through it all you get a fascinating tale of a controversial piece of art.

The Lost Leonardo is a fascinating dive into the history of the Salvator Mundi and into the art world as a whole, with a look at the controversy and political influence surrounding the work. 

Watch it.

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The Lost Leonardo is in select theaters on August 20, 2021.  For showtimes, click herehere.

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