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The Lost Leonardo

by on September 8, 2021
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The world of high art is alien to most of us, in which a painting or sculpture is judged less by its ability to move our hearts than the value experts insist clings to it because of who made it, or where, or when. A dreary painting with solid provenance (proof of authenticity) by a master can sell for tens of millions of dollars, while something in the window of a small-town shop that infallibly makes passersby stop and gape is deemed worthless.

“The Lost Leonardo,” the fascinating new film directed by Andreas Koefoed, pierces this veiled realm where art, money and power intertwine in labyrinthine patterns even those who dwell in it don’t fully understand. It’s the best documentary I’ve seen this year.

It’s the story not just of a painting that was found and attributed as a lost work of Leonardo da Vinci a dozen years ago and has successively sold to ever-higher bidders, eventually setting a record in 2017 for $450 million — the highest price ever paid for a work of art.

Read the rest on Substack!



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