This section of the website is devoted to information about Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi. Although the painting and my involvement with it are completely distinct from the activities of Robert Simon Fine Art, I thought it would be useful to gather here some of the references to the painting, its discovery, and reception. - RBS

Forthcoming publication:
Margaret Dalivalle, Martin Kemp and Robert Simon, Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Leonardo da Vinci
(Italian, 1452-1519)
Salvator Mundi
Oil on panel
Private Collection
© 2011 Salvator Mundi LLC
Photograph: Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art

Articles and Online Publications

News of the discovery of Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi began appearing at the end of May and beginning of June 2011. Several articles and internet postings reported the existence of the painting, but often with considerable inaccuracies, most alarmingly the illustration of the wrong painting. Those listed below are better informed, but inevitably there are some errors...


From The Art Newspaper, Martin Bailey's articles from September, 2011.

From ARTnews, Milton Esterow's "Rediscovering a Leonardo" published in October 2011.

From The Sunday Times Magazine, Kathy Brewis' "Leonardo? Convince Me" from October 10, 2011.

From The Guardian, Jonathan Jones "Leonardo's 'lost' Christ, sold for £45 in 1956 – now valued at £120m" from July 12, 2011 and his "Leonardo da Vinci: art's mystery man" from July 13, 2011.

From The History Blog, "Lost Leonardo Painting Discovered", posted on July 8, 2011.

From Dossier de l'Art, No.195, an article by Pietro C. Marani, "Deux nouveaux Léonard?," from April, 2012. 

And from Stacy Bolton Communications, the Official Press Releases (Shortened Version and Extended Version), released to the public on July 7, 2011.

Scholarly Publications and Presentations on the Painting

Leonardo da Vinci’s Lady with an Ermine and text spelling Leonardo

Luke Syson

Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan, by Luke Syson, Larry Keith et. al., London , exh. cat. London 2011, pp. 282-3, 298-303, cat. no. 91.

  • A pdf version of the catalogue entry.

The exhibition catalogue is available for purchase here on the National Gallery Website and also available here on

Martin Kemp

  • Leonardo (revised edition) Oxford 2011, especially pp. 208f, pl. 19. Available for purchase here from Oxford University Press and also here on

  • Christ to Coke; How Image Becomes Icon, Oxford 2012, especially pp. 35f, fig. 1.12. Available for purchase here from Oxford University Press and also here on

Dianne Dwyer ModestiniNica Gutman Rieppi and Robert Simon

...presented papers at the conference "Leonardo da Vinci: Recent Technical Finds and Discoveries," organized by the Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts in New York on February 18, 2012.

Fuller Discussions of the Salvator Mundi

H. Niyazi’s probing analysis in Three Pipe Problem (online)

Bendor Grosvenor’s extensive coverage in Art History News (online):

Andrew M. Goldstein, “The Male ‘Mona Lisa’?: Art Historian Martin Kemp on Leonardo da Vinci's Mysterious ‘Salvator Mundi,’ Artinfo (November 17, 2011)

Shelley Esaak, "A Closer Look at Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci,"

Video & Radio Media Coverage


Da Vinci: The Lost Treasure

This hour-long documentary presented by Fiona Bruce was first broadcast on BBC1 on October 31, 2011. Produced by Roger Parsons and Julian Birkett

  • The documentary can currently be viewed on Netflix.

  • A description of the program is here.

  • Some comments by Fiona Bruce are here.

Looking Back on Leonardo

From the National Gallery, London

"Experience the excitement of what was dubbed 'one of the exhibitions of the century' in this brand new retrospective of the 2011 show Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan.

Take a look back at this unprecedented exhibition – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – which brought together sensational international loans never before seen in the UK.

Hear exhibition curator Luke Syson reflecting on the significance of the historical show, as Larry Keith, Head of Conservation, Ashok Roy, Director of Science, and Nicholas Penny, Director of the National Gallery describe what they learnt from this once-in-a-lifetime exhibition." - from the National Gallery website.

Leonardo – The Lost Painting

This thirty-minute documentary was first broadcast on CNN International on November 11, 2011. Presented by Nick Glass

The program is described here and three excerpts are available for viewing online:

A recent program from Nick Glass, 'Mona lisa 'twin' goes on display' (2/21/12), features an excerpt on the Salvator Mundi and a brief appearance by Robert Simon.

Leonardo Live

A live HD film of the exhibition opening by Sky Arts first broadcast in cinemas and on SkyArts November 8, 2011. It broadcasted internationally from February 16, 2012 on.

  • The program is described here.

  • A BBC news clip about the broadcast is here. In this clip, the actress Fiona Shaw can be seen discussing the Salvator Mundi at 2:29.

The Leonardo Detectives 

In this radio program, first broadcast November 7, 2011, on BBC4, Rachel Campbell-Johnson, chief art critic for The Times, discusses questions of art attribution, including the Salvator Mundi.

A podcast of the program is available here.


Voice of Russia

Andrew Hiller’s radio interview with Robert Simon on The Voice of Russia,broadcast November 19, 2011, can be heard here:

Leonardo da Vinci exhibition: the rediscovery of Salvator Mundi(shown above)

Alistair Sooke, Art Critic of The Telegraph, speaks with curator Luke Syson about the Salvator Mundi, available for viewing here.


Leonardo da Vinci –Painter at the Court of Milan

A seven-minute video featuring curator Luke Syson in conversation with presenter Joy Bolli inside the National Gallery exhibition. The Salvator Mundiis discussed at the 5:20 mark. This video is no longer available.

Leonardo da Vinci: 'An artist who deserves every bit of his fame'

Jonathan Jones, art critic for The Guardian, speaks about the National Gallery exhibition in this five-minute video filmed in the exhibition.Available on The Guardian's website, here. His response to the Salvator Mundi is at 3:41.


BBC News broadcast: “Da Vinci Exhibition displays recently authenticated portrait”

David Sillito of the BBC with a misidentified Luke Syson (Salvator Mundi at 2:07). Available here.


Welt Ereignis DaVinci beglückt London

A German television report (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) from November 9, 2011 on the exhibition with comments from a special friend at 1:37. TheSalvator Mundi appears at 1:55. Available here.

Leonardo alla National Gallery

Report from RAI television with comments on the Salvator Mundi from curator Arturo Galansino at :33, available for viewing here. There is now a longer interview available to view above. Salvator Mundi is discussed at 4:10. The interview is conducted in Italian.

Kulturzeit (shown above)

A 7-minute report on the exhibition broadcast on Kulturzeit 3sat. The Salvator Mundi is at 6:11, and the clip is available here.

Salvator Mundi IMF Video (shown above)

The music of Palestrina accompanies this 4 ½ minute look at the painting. Watch and listen here.

Salvator Mundi in Popular Culture

Salvator Mundi  appears in  Assassins Creed Embers , an animated short part of the new release of the video game  Assassins Creed  (with thanks for the reference and capture to Hasan Niyazi of  Three Pipe Problem ).


Salvator Mundi appears in Assassins Creed Embers, an animated short part of the new release of the video game Assassins Creed (with thanks for the reference and capture to Hasan Niyazi of
Three Pipe Problem).


Salvator Mundi has also now made appearances on Wikipedia!
See below for the two entries.

Salvator Mundi:
List of works by Leonardo da Vinci:

Interviews with Robert Simon,
and Diane Dwyer Modestini

Robert Simon with Leonardo's Salvator Mundi.


Many articles in the press have alluded to the roles Robert Simon and Dianne Dwyer Modestini played in the rediscovery of Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi. Please find below the interviews given by the art historian and conservator, respectively, in recent months. 

Ben Hoyle's interview with Robert Simon from the The Times, "It's kind of scary - I wrapped it in a bin liner and jumped in a taxi with it" published November 12, 2011 and then reprinted as "Saviour of the world's lost Leonardo treasure" in The Australian on November 16, 2011.

Alessandro Cassin's interview with Robert Simon for L'Espresso, "Cosi si scopre un Leonardo" published on March 22, 2012.

Artists Tony Curanaj and Edward Minoff speak with Robert Simon for their podcast Suggested Donation, September 16, 2015.

Megan Doll's interview with Dianne Dwyer Modestini, "The Lost Leonardo; a Master's Priceless Work is Found" for NYU Alumni Magazine, Fall 2011.

Jean Dommermuth's interview with Dianne Dwyer Modestini in the NYU-IFA Conservation Center Newsgram, January 2012.

Interview with Dr. Margaret Dalivalle

Margaret Dalivalle with a framed painting

Dr. Margaret Dalivalle with a portrait of King Charles II from the 17th century. Private Collection.

On Dr. Margaret Dalivalle research into the provenance of the Salvator Mundi:

Reviews of Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milanat the National Gallery

Leonardo da Vinci Painter at the Court of Milan Exhibition Graphic - 9 November 2011 - 5 February 2012

The following are a few reviews written about the exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan.


Martin Bailey, in The Art Newspaper, November 2011

Waldemar Januszcak, of The Sunday Times, from Waldemar's own site, see his "Exceptional... unmissable" from November 4th, 2011.

From the Antiques Trade Gazette, Alex Capon's articles from July 18th, 2011, "National Gallery Approves New Leonardo Discovery" and "Salvator Mundi: condition and provenance".

Richard Dorment, in The Telegraph, November 7, 2011

Christopher Knight, in the Los Angeles Times, November 20, 2011

Rachel Campbell-Johnston, in The Times, November 4, 2011