Chapter

After the Original: Hollar and Leonardo’s Salvator

Margaret Dalivalle, Martin Kemp and Robert B. Simon

in Leonardo's Salvator Mundi and the Collecting of Leonardo in the Stuart Courts

Published in print October 2019 | ISBN: 9780198813835
Published online November 2019 | e-ISBN: 9780191851575 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198813835.003.0013
After the Original: Hollar and Leonardo’s Salvator

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Chapter 12 reviews the Bohemian artist Wencelaus Hollar’s 1650 etching of Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi, which, he stated, was made from the original painting. Can we identify Hollar’s model, and on what basis did he attribute it to Leonardo? From a comparison with the closest extant compositions—the Cook, Naples, and Ganay paintings—the chapter examines the consonances and dissonances between the respective paintings and the etching. Since the Ganay painting has been championed (without acceptance) as Leonardo’s original, a history of the scholarly appraisal of this painting, together with some clarifications of its pre-twentieth-century provenance, is presented here. Hollar’s etching is dated 1650, but the location of execution is not given. Can we pinpoint the location in 1650 of any of the prime contenders, and if so, can Hollar be placed in proximity? The chapter proposes that Hollar, perhaps acting for the agent of Cardinal Mazarin, copied Leonardo’s Salvator Mundi at the Commonwealth Sale in 1650.

Keywords: Wenceslaus Hollar; Thomas Howard; Earl of Arundel; art dealing; Commonwealth Sale; Marquis de Ganay; Mazarin Collection

Chapter.  6650 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History ; Early Modern History (1500 to 1700) ; European History

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