Greystones Film Club: The Lost Leonardo

For its May New Cinema screening, the Greystones Film Club present one of the most acclaimed documentaries of the past year.


In 2008, the world’s most distinguished Leonardo Da Vinci experts gathered around an easel at the National Gallery in London to examine a mysterious painting – an unassuming Salvator Mundi (Latin for Savior of the World). Despite not seeking experts’ formal opinions, the National Gallery presents the Salvator Mundi as an autograph Leonardo da Vinci painting in their 2011 blockbuster exhibition, setting in motion one of the most beguiling and perplexing art stories of our times.


The Lost Leonardo is the inside story behind the Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting ever sold at $450 million. From the moment the painting is bought for $1175 at a shady New Orleans auction house, and the restorer discovers masterful Renaissance brushstrokes under the heavy varnish of its cheap restoration, 
the Salvator Mundi’s fate is determined by an insatiable quest for fame, money and power. As its price soars, so do the questions about its authenticity: is this painting really by Leonardo da Vinci?

Filmed over a three-year period, The Lost Leonardo meticulously unveils the whole story behind the Salvator Mundi and unfolds as a gripping real-life thriller featuring major characters from the world of art, finance and politics including the restorer Dianne Modestini – who for the first time allows behind the scenes access.


Unravelling the hidden agendas of the richest men and the most powerful art institutions in the world, The Lost Leonardo reveals how vested interests in the Salvator Mundi are of such tremendous power that truth becomes secondary
Director Andreas Koefoed positions this stranger-than-fiction story squarely at the intersection of capitalism and myth-making, posing the question: is this multi-million dollar painting actually by Leonardo, or do certain powerful players simply want it to be.

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