“Salvatore Mundi”

Leonardo da Vinci, “Salvatore Mundi” 1499-1515, oil on walnut panel.

Did you know that there are less than 20 recognized da Vinci paintings in the world? So the discovery of this work, just last year, is major news for the art world! There is so much to say about this- the hand gesture bringing peace and blessing, the curious orb, symbolic of Christ’s reign over all things physical and spiritual. But what interests me the most if the expression. What version of Christ is this? How is he personified? He doesn’t appear happy or sad, shy or aggressive. Yet those eyes – they split you open and see every hidden corner of your heart! One of the features of a da Vinci that mystified us so is the life that exudes from their surface. They seem to be lit from within, with this smoky, otherworldly glow. This work is no exception and it is just one of many illustrations of how the painted world can both heighten our sense if reality and surpass its physicality all in one go! If this image could speak, what do you think it would say? (Original post to Instagram October 26, 2012.)


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