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(Possibly) Commissioned after 1500 by King Louis XII of France (1462-1515) and his wife, Anne of Brittany (1477-1514), following the conquest of Milan and Genoa, and possibly by descent to
Henrietta Maria of France (1609-1669), by whom possibly brought to England in 1625 upon her marriage to
King Charles I of England (1600-1649), Greenwich; Commonwealth Sale, as ‘A peece of Christ done by Leonardo at 30- 00- 00’, presented, 23 October 1651, as part of the Sixth Dividend to
Captain John Stone (1620-1667), leader of the Sixth Dividend of creditors, until 1660, when it was returned with other works upon the Restoration to
King Charles II of England (1630-1685), Whitehall, and probably by inheritance to his brother
King James II of England (1633-1701), Whitehall, from which probably removed by
Catherine Sedley, Countess of Dorchester (1657-1717), or her future son-in-law, John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby (1648-1721), and probably by descent to his illegitimate son
Sir Charles Herbert Sheffield, 1st Bt. (c. 1706-1774); John Prestage, London, 24 February 1763, lot 53, as ‘L. Da. Vinci A head of our Saviour’ (£2.10).
Sir [John] Charles Robinson (1824-1913), as Bernardino Luini; by whom sold in 1900 to
Sir Francis Cook, 1st Bt. (1817-1901), Doughty House, Richmond, and by descent through
Sir Frederick [Lucas] Cook, 2nd Bt. (1844-1920), Doughty House, Richmond, and
Sir Herbert [Frederick] Cook, 3rd Bt. (1868-1939), Doughty House, Richmond, as ‘Free copy after Boltraffio’ and later ‘Milanese School’, to
Sir Francis [Ferdinand Maurice] Cook, 4th Bt. (1907-1978); his sale, Sotheby’s, London, 25 June 1958, lot 40, as ‘Boltraffio’ (£45 to Kuntz).
Private collection, United States.
Robert Simon, New York.
Private sale; Sotheby’s, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Property from a Private European Collection
T. Borenius and H. Cook, A Catalogue of the Paintings at Doughty House, Richmond, 1913, I, p. 123, no. 106.
W. E. Suida, Leonardo und sein Kreis, Munich, 1929, p. 140.
M. W. Brockwell, ed., Abridged Catalogue of the Pictures at Doughty House Richmond Surrey in the Collection of Sir Herbert Cook, Bart., London, 1932, p. 30, no. 106.
K. Clark, The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci in the collection of His Majesty the King at Windsor Castle, New York and Cambridge, 1935, p. 80, under no. 12524.
K. Clark, The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor Castle, second edition, revised with the assistance of Carlo Pedretti, London 1968-69, I, p. 94, under no. 12524.
W. R. Valentiner, ed., Leonardo da Vinci Loan Exhibition, Los Angeles, 1949, pp. 85-6, under no. 27.
L. H. Heydenreich, “Leonardo’s ‘Salvator Mundi’”, Raccolta Vinciana, XX, 1964, p. 108, no. 6.
O. Millar, ed., “The Inventories and Valuations of the King’s Goods, 1649-1651”, The Volume of the Walpole Society, XLIII, 1972, p. 63, no. 49.
J. Snow-Smith, The Salvator Mundi of Leonardo da Vinci, Seattle, 1982, pp. 11-2, 15, fig. 7.
P. Trutty-Coohill, “Studies in the School of Leonardo da Vinci: Paintings in Public Collections in the United States with a Chronology of the Activity of Leonardo and his Pupils and catalogue of Auction Sales”, Ph.D. dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, 1982, pp. 144, 153n10.
H. E. Davies, “Sir John Charles Robinson (1824-1913): his role as a connoisseur and creator of public and private collections of works of art”, Ph. D. dissertation, University of Oxford, 1992, I, p. 435.
E. Danziger and J. Somerville, “Concordance of Cook Collection paintings”, no. 106, online supplement to E. Danziger, “The Cook collection, its founder and its inheritors”, The Burlington Magazine, CXLVI, July 2004, pp. 444-58.
M. Kemp, Leonardo, Oxford, 2011, pp. 208-09, 258, pl. 19.
M. Kemp, “Sight and Salvation”, Nature, CDLXXIX, 11 November 2011, pp. 174-75.
F. Ames-Lewis, Isabella and Leonardo: The Artistic Relationship between Isabella D’Este and Leonardo da Vinci, 1500-1506, New Haven and London, 2012, pp. 200f, pl. 100.
C. C. Bambach, “Seeking the universal painter”, review of Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan, Apollo, CLXXV, no. 595, February 2012, pp. 84-5, fig. 4, as ‘Attributed here to Giovanni Antonio Boltraffio (about 1467-1516) and Leonardo da Vinci’.
C. Farago, “Review of Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan”, Renaissance Quarterly, LXV, no. 2, Summer 2012, pp. 523-24.
P. Joannides, “Leonardo in Milan in London”, review of Leonardo: Painter at the Court of Milan, Paragone, LXII, no. 104, July 2012, pp. 52, 57-8.
M. Kemp, Christ to Coke: How Image Becomes Icon, Oxford, 2012, pp. 35-7, fig. 1.12.
C. Robertson, “Leonardo da Vinci”, review of Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, The Burlington Magazine, CLIV, no. 1307, February 2012, p. 133.
M. Versiero, Il dono della libertà e l’ambizione dei tiranni, Naples, 2012, pp. 311-14, no. 4B.
F. Fiorani, “Reflections on Leonardo da Vinci Exhibitions in London and Paris”, in Studiolo: Revue d’histoire de l’art de l’Académie de France à Rome – Villa Médicis, X, 2013, p. 267.
P. C. Marani, “L’occhio del Salvator Mundi”, in Il tempo e la rosa: scritti di storia dell’arte in onore di Loredana Olivato, P. Artoni, ed., Treviso, 2013, pp. 194-99.
E. Villata, “Da Bernardino de Conti a Leonardo. Piccole note sulla moda leonardesca nella Milano francese”, in Le Duché de Milan et les commanditaires français (1499-1521), F. Elsig and M. Natale, eds., Rome, 2013, p. 133.
F. Zöllner, “The Measure of Sight, The Measure of Darkness. Leonardo da Vinci and the History of Blurriness”, in Leonardo da Vinci and Optics: Theory and pictorial practice, F. Fiorani and A. Nova, eds., Venice, 2013, p. 331, as if the attribution is correct the painting must be dated later than c. 1499.
F. Zöllner, “A double Leonardo. On two exhibitions (and their catalogues) in London and Paris”, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, 76, 2013, pp. 420-22, as the attribution and dating of c. 1499 ‘cannot be brought wholly into line with the existing state of Leonardo scholarship’.
D. D. Modestini, “The Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci rediscovered: History, technique and condition”, in Leonardo da Vinci's Technical Practice: Paintings, Drawings and Influence, M. Menu, ed., Paris, 2014, pp. 130-51.
F. Saracino, Il Salvatore di Leonardo: Pittura e cristologia a Milano nel Rinascimento, Milan, 2014.
M. Kemp, “The Whole in the Parts and the Parts in the Whole: Leonardo and the Unity of Knowledge”, in Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519: The Design of the World, P. C. Marani and M. T. Fiorio, eds., Milan, 2015, pp. 358-59, 361, illustrated.
F. Rinaldi, “The ‘Academia Leonardi Vinci’”, in Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519: The Design of the World, P. C. Marani and M. T. Fiorio, eds., Milan, 2015, pp. 441, 443.
M. Versiero, Leonardo in “Chiaroscuro”: Tra Savonarola e Machiavelli, c. 1494-1504, Mantua, 2015, pp. 45, 49, fig. 32.
F. Zöllner and N. Johannes, Leonardo da Vinci, 1452-1519: The Complete Paintings, Cologne, 2015, pp. 8-9, 249, under no. XXXIV, as derived from a cartoon ‘possibly designed by Leonardo’.
S. T. Cataldo, ed., Léonard en France: Le maître et ses éleves 500 ans après la traversée des Alpes, 1516-2016 / Leonardo in Francia: Il maestro e gli allievi 500 anni dopo la traversata delle Alpi, 1516-2016, 2016, pp. 286-89, pl. 1 (cat. by V. Delieuvin).
M. Versiero, Leonardo da Vinci, Florence, 2016, pp. 152-55, fig. 29.
C. Pedretti, “Il Salvatore, questo sconosciuto”, in Leonardo a Donnaregina: I Salvator Mundi per Napoli, N. Barbatelli and M. Melani, eds., Poggio a Caiano, 2017, pp. 23, 35, illustrated, as ‘una chimera’.
W. Isaacson, Leonardo da Vinci, New York, 2017, pp. 329-34, fig. 83.
M. Dalivalle, “Collecting Leonardo in Stuart Britain”, in Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts, Oxford, to be published in 2018.
M. Kemp, “The Salvator Mundi”, in Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts, Oxford, to be published in 2018.
R. B. Simon, “The Discovery of a Masterpiece”, in Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts, Oxford, to be published in 2018.
London, The National Gallery, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, 9 November 2011-5 February 2012, no. 91.