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The Lost Leonardo

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Reviews:“A bona fide cinema crowd-pleaser! Nothing quite like a good story, well-told.”

“Lively and engrossing. Tells the tale of the most scrutinized painting of all time.”

“A surprisingly suspenseful story about art, money, and politics.”

“Fascinating from start to finish!”



Directed by: Andreas Koefoed

Written by: Duska Zagorac, Andreas Dalsgaard, Mark Monroe, Christian Kirk Muff, Andreas Koefoed

Selections: Tribeca Film Festival

Synopsis: 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 questions about its authenticity: is this painting really by Leonardo da Vinci?

Unravelling the hidden agendas of the richest men and 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.

One of the top art conservation professionals in the world, Modestini restored the Salvator Mundi over several years in the period between 2005 and 2017 and became convinced the work was from the hand of Leonardo da Vinci. Dianne Modestini comes under intense scrutiny but continues to fight for the attribution.

Together with Alexander Parish, Simon purchased the Salvator Mundi in 2005 for $1175 and was the key person in brokering its Leonardo da Vinci attribution.

Parish is a sleeper hunter who spotted the Salvator Mundi in a New Orleans auction in 2005. He purchased the painting together with Robert Simon for $1175.

Adelson becomes the third partner in the Salvator Mundi consortium following the National Gallery’s Leonardo da Vinci attribution and was in charge of selling the painting.

YVES BOUVIER – Freeport Owner and Businessman (Switzerland)
Bouvier purchased the Salvator Mundi from Warren Adelson for $83 million and resold it to Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev for $127.5 million, making a $44.5 million profit in less than two days.

LUKE SYSON – Curator (2003-2012), National Gallery in London (UK)
Syson invited the Leonardo da Vinci experts to look at the Salvator Mundi at the National Gallery. Syson makes the controversial decision to display the Salvator Mundi as a newly discovered Leonardo in his 2011 blockbuster exhibition.

MARTIN KEMP – Leonardo da Vinci Expert, Oxford (UK)
Kemp was one of the five experts invited by Luke Syson to examine the Salvator Mundi. A leading authority on the life and work of Leonardo Da Vinci, Kemp is a champion of the attribution.

MARIA TERESA FIORIO – Leonardo da Vinci Expert, Milan (Italy)
One of the five experts invited by Luke Syson to examine the Salvator Mundi, Fiorio is on the fence about the attribution and believes the poor condition of the painting forbids conclusive attribution.

FRANK ZÖLLNER – Leonardo da Vinci Expert, Leipzig (Germany)
A leading Leonardo scholar, Zöllner believes the painting is most likely by Leonardo’s workshop but with the involvement of the master. He is critical of Dianne Modestini’s extensive restoration.

JACQUES FRANCK – Artist and Restorer (France)
A specialist in Leonardo da Vinci painting technique, Franck believes the Salvator Mundi is by Leonardo’s workshop. Franck writes a letter to the French president Emmanuel Macron warning against the Louvre exhibiting the painting with full Leonardo attribution.

EVAN BEARD – Global Art Services Executive, Bank of America, New York (USA)
One of the top bankers involved in the art market, Beard is a true Salvator Mundi insider.

GEORGINA ADAM – Writer and Journalist (UK)
Art market specialist, Adam writes for The Art Newspaper and the Financial Times, and is the author of Dark Side of the Boom: The Excesses of the Art Market in the 21st Century.

BRADLEY HOPE – Investigative Journalist (USA)
A former Wall Street Journal journalist based in London, Hope is the author of Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power.

Author of the book The Bouvier Affair: A True Story and art world insider.

KENNY SCHACHTER – Art Critic and Writer (USA)
Art world renegade and writer, Schachter is cynical about the Salvator Mundi and the art market at large.

JERRY SALTZ – Art Critic and Writer (USA)
Pulitzer award winning art critic, Saltz is one of the most vocal critics of the Salvator Mundi.

STÉPHANE LACROIX – Associate Professor, Sciences Po (France)
One of the leading Middle East experts in France.

ALISON COLE – Editor, The Art Newspaper (UK)
Cole wrote extensively about the Salvator Mundi, and was the first to reveal the existence of the secret Louvre book.

ANTOINE HARARI – Investigative Journalist (Switzerland)
Investigative Journalist who authored the explosive Heidi News expose on the Bouvier affair.

DAVID KIRKPATRICK – The New York Times Journalist (USA)
Revealed MBS was the buyer of the Salvator Mundi following the Christie’s auction.

ROBERT KING WITTMAN – Founder of the FBI Art Crime Team (USA)
Wittman was one of the FBI's top investigators in cases involving art theft and art fraud.

Former CIA operative and intelligence world insider.

BRUCE LAMARCHE – Yves Bouvier’s business partner (Switzerland)
A close associate of Yves Bouvier, Lamarche is a freeport insider.

DIDIER RYKNER – Editor, La Tribune de l'Art (France)
Investigating what happened behind the scenes of the Salvator Mundi no-show at the Louvre in Paris, Rykner finds and publishes the secret Louvre book in France.

BERND LINDEMANN – Director (2004- 2016), Gemäldegallerie in Berlin (Germany)
Lindemann was offered the Salvator Mundi for the Gemäldegallerie in 2012 but did not wish to acquire it due to its poor condition and attribution questions.


The Lost Leonardo