How can a painting be lost for 500 years? The painting once belonged to King Charles I in the 17th century and in 1688 went to the Duke of Buckingham where in 1763 it was sold by his descendants as a Leonardo. The painting then disappeared and resurfaced in 1900 attributed to a Follower of da Vinci when it was bought by British art connoisseur Sir Francis Cook. The painting was sold by Cook’s descendants at Sotheby’s in 1958 as a Follower of Leonardo and during the remainder of the 20th century was part of an American collection as a Follower of da Vinci up until its sale in 2005 to the present owner.
After an extensive and expensive program of restoration and years of research and consults with numerous well regarded scholars, the present consensus is that Salvator Mundi is by the hand of Leonardo da Vinci. So much so, that the National Gallery in London has included it in its show Leonardo da Vinci, Painter at the Court of Milan 9 November 2011 – 5 February 2012.
Good things do happen to good people! Congrats gentlemen.