The painting, called Salvator Mundi, or “Savior of the World,” went missing for most of the 17th through the 19th centuries, but was discovered in a private collection in the United States and sold to a consortium of art dealers around six or seven years ago.
Though the group suspected it was an original da Vinci, it is only now that scholars have confirmed it, ARTNews reports.
The oil on wood panel measures 26-by-18 1 / 2 inches, and depicts Jesus Christ with his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand holding a globe. Over the years, attempts at restoration, including overpainting, damaged the original work, turning it gray. It was painstakingly cleaned to restore the image beneath. There is speculation that an original offer to buy the painting for $100 million was turned down by the consortium and that it is now asking for $200 million. Members of the group have remained silent, however, as to the details of a potential sale.
The art will be exhibited in London’s National Gallery as part of a showcase of da Vinci’s work Nov. 9.