Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and His Atelier at the Castello Sforzesco

Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and His Atelier at the Castello Sforzesco
#Exhibitions

One of the most-discussed painting of Leonardo is back in the limelight - Salvator Mundi, sold at auction for 450-million dollars in the autumn of 2017 and never displayed. As the controversy regarding its origins continues, a piece of paper discovered in the Gabinetto dei Disegni of Castello Sforzesco sheds new light on its history. That’s where Un Leonardo Mai Visto (A Never Seen Leonardo) comes in, the calendar of events that Milan created to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the artist’s death. In the fortress that saw the artist at work for the court of Ludovico Sforza, the rediscovered drawing is at the centre of an original exhibition project. A transparent case displays both sides, where sketches of human figures in red pencil and finished in ink along with the words “Salvator Mundi”, probably a study for an epigraph to be inserted into the painting, can be seen clearly. But did the master himself do this? Certainly, the page found in Milan, for the moment, represents the only document of the genesis of the painting, if one excludes a handful of drawings jealously guarded at Windsor Castle. As curator Pietro Marani says, together with the never-before-seen works of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana, it is capable of giving us a new view on “the elaboration of the Salvator Mundi in the atelier of Leonardo from around 1510-1513”. And it does this right next to the Sala delle Asse, the masterpiece room by Leonardo being restored which is possible to see until April 19 - allowing visitors to see how the work by the genius and his collaborators, the decoration of the room of Sforza’s court and the birth of the celebrated painting are all intertwined.
Francesca Grego - © 2020 ARTE.it for Bulgari Hotel Milano