Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Visual & Performing Arts; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Jill Pederson

Abstract

In 2017, the Salvator Mundi painting made headlines for its attribution to Leonardo da Vinci and subsequent recording breaking price tag. However, the attribution has raised many questions making us rethink the attribution process as a whole. Through a closer look at Leonardo’s role as a court painter and his place in the tradition of the Renaissance workshop, we can challenge our understanding of authorship. The problematic provenance and series of poor restorations further challenges the attribution of this painting. Through a close analysis of these aforementioned issues, and by developing an understanding of Leonardo’s process and his relationship to his students and followers, we can better evaluate the authorship of the work. This painting gives us the opportunity to challenge processes that have been systemically prolonged, as well as analyze how our own notions of authorship complicate our ability to attribute paintings.

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An Analysis of the Attribution of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Salvator Mundi

In 2017, the Salvator Mundi painting made headlines for its attribution to Leonardo da Vinci and subsequent recording breaking price tag. However, the attribution has raised many questions making us rethink the attribution process as a whole. Through a closer look at Leonardo’s role as a court painter and his place in the tradition of the Renaissance workshop, we can challenge our understanding of authorship. The problematic provenance and series of poor restorations further challenges the attribution of this painting. Through a close analysis of these aforementioned issues, and by developing an understanding of Leonardo’s process and his relationship to his students and followers, we can better evaluate the authorship of the work. This painting gives us the opportunity to challenge processes that have been systemically prolonged, as well as analyze how our own notions of authorship complicate our ability to attribute paintings.

 
 

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