The artwork, which was likely painted by one of the Renaissance master’s students, was discovered at an apartment during a search in the Italian city, according to a statement issued by Italian police. The property’s 36-year-old owner was found nearby and taken into custody on suspicion of receiving stolen goods.
The portrait was modeled on Leonardo’s famed depiction of Christ with one hand raised in blessing and the other holding a crystal orb. Numerous copies of the work were made during the artist’s lifetime by his students and assistants.
Italian police present the recovered painting, which is believed to date back to the 1510s. Credit: Salvatore Laporta/IPA/Shutterstock
It is believed that the painting was created in Rome before being brought to Naples by Giovanni Antonio Muscettola, an envoy and advisor to the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.
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Top image caption: The “Salvator Mundi” copy found in Naples, Italy on January 18, 2021