Leonardo da Vinci’s rediscovered painting ‘Salvator Mundi’ is having the Broadway treatment

Leonardo da Vinci's rediscovered painting 'Salvator Mundi' is getting the Broadway treatment

Penned by Jacqui Palumbo, CNN

A new retelling of the drama and secret encompassing the world’s most highly-priced painting is set to get the stage in New York in 2022 as a major Broadway musical.

“Salvator Mundi!” The Musical, declared by Tony Award-profitable production organization Caiola Productions, will chronicle the tale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Renaissance-era portrait of Jesus, presumed dropped for hundreds of decades and only rediscovered this century.

The screenwriter of “Salvator Mundi!,” Deborah Grace Winer, believes da Vinci’s artwork has all of the elements wanted to make a powerful historical narrative for the phase.

“There is certainly an epic high quality about (this story) that I think goes very nicely with musicals. It is almost Shakespearean and operatic in the sweep of (its) heritage,” she mentioned above the phone from Manhattan.

The tiny, 26-inch-tall panel was commissioned by Louis XII of France close to 1500, but following having damaged and being included with dim overpaint, it was thought for generations to be a copy by a lesser-known artist. In 2005 the painting was sold at auction as a duplicate of the authentic for fewer than $10,000 to a consortium of artwork dealers. Infrared technologies then unveiled previously reworkings of Jesus’ hand, signaling it was probably designed by da Vinci himself.

The portray experienced a major exhibition at the National Gallery in London in 2011, and its value tag skyrocketed. “Salvator Mundi” then circulated amongst non-public collectors right up until its document-shattering $450.3 million auction rate at Christie’s in 2017.

It is a tale that poses the concern: “What will make art what presents nearly anything benefit?” Winer claimed. “It really is this concept of following a single object by (record). It can be about electric power and symbols. For $450 million, you could purchase the savior of the globe.”

Intrigue nevertheless follows the do the job. In a further twist, “Salvator Mundi” has not been publicly found given that the auction hammer dropped a few years ago. The Louvre Abu Dhabi inexplicably delayed its a great deal predicted unveiling in 2018, and it has however to emerge, believed to be in storage in Geneva or in the personal yacht of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed binu Salman.

The forthcoming musical is not going to be the 1st time the Grasp painter’s enigmatic life and job has been reimagined for theatergoers. In 1993, critics balked at the sick-fated 1993 West End theater generation “Leonardo the Musical: A Portrait of Love,” on the making of his famed “Mona Lisa,” which still left the phase soon after only two months.

Yet artwork history is a scarce topic for theater. In 1984, Georges Seurat’s pointillist masterpiece, “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte,” became the subject of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George,” which received a number of awards, which include the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and has witnessed numerous revivals. More just lately, the pop-rock musical “Starry,” about Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo has experienced operates in Los Angeles and New York.

The saga of “Salvator Mundi” may look like a area of interest topic for a phase output, but Winer believes some of the most popular musicals have succeeded mainly because they are distinct stories advised in a persuasive way. She details to the famous musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” a tale about a Jewish family members in a settlement in Imperial Russia, which premiered in 1964 and has been done in multiple countries all around the earth for 50 percent a century.

Then there is certainly “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop consider on a person of the early supporters of US constitutionalism, who acquired far significantly less interest than his historical counterparts like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin.

“Who would imagine that a musical about an obscure founding father would be so intriguing to men and women?” Winer asked. “The unlikeliest tales come across incredible fascination from audiences. The more particular it is, in some cases the a lot more common it will become.”

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