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June 17, 2024
‘Regret when collecting stems from missing out on monetary gain’: artist Dominic Chambers on the art he buys
June 17, 2024

Academy Award winner Julianne Moore will play renowned art restorer Dianne Modestini in a television dramatization of the 2021 documentary The Lost Leonardo, Deadline reports. The documentary follows the twisted tale of the rediscovery of the Salvator Mundi, a painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that subsequently sold for $450m at Christie’s in New York in 2017, making it the world’s most expensive work of art.

The painting was purchased by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, though his identity was only revealed to the public through later press reports. Salvator Mundi has not been seen in public since the 2017 sale, despite Christie’s saying at the time of the auction that it would go on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Subsequently it was rumoured to be included in the Musée du Louvre’s blockbuster Leonardo retrospective, which opened in 2019, though in the end it was a no-show—a publication intended to mark its inclusion did turn up, though.

Even aside from the drama of the disappearance of the most expensive painting of all time, there are serious concerns about the provenance and restoration of the painting, and whether or not the Salvator Mundi that sold at Christie’s should be considered a painting by Leonardo. The sale of Salvator Mundi and its effects are still playing out in the art world: this year, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, a former owner of the painting, lost a lawsuit against Sotheby’s after accusing them of fraud tied to when he purchased the painting and other works from the auction house with the help of Swiss dealer Yves Bouvier.

In addition to playing Modestini in the new series, Moore will also act as executive producer, according to Deadline. Moore was nominated for a Golden Globe for last year’s film May December, in which she played a character based loosely on Mary Kay Letourneau, the American sex offender who went on to marry her student. The forthcoming Salvator Mundi series is being developed by Studiocanal, The Picture Company, Entertainment 360 and Zaftig Films, with the duo of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra set to direct.

No news yet if roles will be cast for The Art Newspaper editor-at-large Georgina Adam and former editor-in-chief Alison Cole, both of whom appear in the documentary.

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