Waldemar on 'Leonardo'
November 16 2011
Picture: Waldemar Januszczak
As expected, a good review from Waldemar on the Leonardo exhibition. And I was glad to see that, unlike many critics, he liked the Salvator Mundi:
Having expected to doubt the surprise new authorship, I found myself fully convinced by it. The rock crystal orb, Christ’s blessing fingers and his curly hair are super-sensitively painted by a hand we now recognise: a hand seeking always to extend the limits of depiction. The sheer strangeness of the image makes it feel Leonardo-esque. No normal painter would have attempted this.
Of course, this is completely the opposite to Andrew Graham-Dixon's response to the picture.
On the subject of why many critics have disagreed with the National Gallery's attribution of Salvator Mundi to Leonardo, a reader writes:
The Press has it in for the Salvator Mundi - I should guess - because the painting's had it too easy, from (re)discovery to attribution and exhibition in six years - no conspiracy, no mystery and not a scratch from sinister vested interests, just a perfectly respectable guest showing up 500 years late for a party.