Coming from director Andreas Koefoed and Sony Pictures Classics comes the story of a painting that takes over the world as THE LOST LEONARDO.
In 2005, Alexander Parish spots a painting at a New Orleans auction and purchases it with Robert Simon for a meager $1,175. Joined by Art Dealer Warren Adelson, the trio believes they have Leonard da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi.
They take the painting to the most reputable woman in the art world for cleaning and restoration, Dianne Modestini. While working on the painting, she came to believe that the painting truly was the Salvator Mundi.
Simon, Adelson and Parish begin a journey with the painting that would soon take over the world. Traveling the world for the experts to see, it would soon go on the auction block and be sold and resold for unimaginable sums of money.
The debate begins from the moment the painting is purchased and continues to the very end. The person taking the most heat is Dianne Modestini for her restoration but even with that, there are those that will not be convinced that it is not da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi.
Those that do not believe are equally convincing in their beliefs so now it becomes a matter of which side is more convincing.
Other interviews include expert Martin Kemp, Curator of the National Gallery in London Luke Syson, Leonardo da Vinci Expert in Milan Maria Teresa Fiorio, Leonardo de Vinci Expert in Germany Frank Zollner, Artist and Restorer Jacques Franck, Global Art Services Executive Evan Beard, Journalist Georgina Adam, Investigative Journalist Bradley Hope, Writer Alexandra Bregman, Art Critic and Writer Kenny Schachter, Art Critic Jerry Saltz and Associate Professor Stephane Lacroix.
Also, The Art Newspaper Editor Alison Cole, Investigate Journalist Antoine Harari, The New York Times Journalist David Kirkpatrick, Found of the FBI Art Crime Team Robert Wittman, ex-CIA Doug Patteson, Yves Bouvier’s business partner Bruce Lamarche, La Tribune de l’Art Editor Didier Rykner and Gemaldegallerie in Berlin Director Bernd Lindemann.
THE LOST LEONARDO is a journey into the find and the reaction of the art world. The same thing happened in 1992 when Terry Horton was thrift shopping in Costa Mesa. Purchasing a 66 by 44 painting for $5, an art teacher would tell her it looked a lot like the work of Jackson Pollack. With no providence, she fought an uphill battle to prove her beloved purchase was that of Pollack.
The same is true of the Salvator Mundi in the case of not having a providence, yet because it is the work of da Vinci, the world stood up and took notice. So began the biggest bidding war I have ever seen.
What the documentary also shows is the insatiable power the art world holds over artists works such as da Vinci. The moment the words Salvator Mundi are uttered, the art world sets itself up for the game of a lifetime and they are not disappointed with the results.
In the end – what do you believe?